The Evil Imp

Is Damien Hirst a Prat?


As one Article19’s readers can be heard yelling “YES” at the top of their collective voice but hear the man out first and then answer.

It appears that one of Mr Hirst’s famous, or infamous, pieces of art is leaking and needs to be repaired, or something like that. The man responsible for sticking cows in containers full of formaldehyde and very little else is in The Guardian newspaper telling everybody to chill out because replacing busted pieces of art is no big deal.

Throughout his piece he uses sentences like; “I don’t think issues of whether art lasts are relevant really; we all know art lasts for as long as it lasts, as long as people want it to.” Which gives you a reasonably good insight into why this man is a bit rubbish.

Mr Hirst also recalls the well worn paradox of “My Grandfather’s Axe” which goes thus;

“If my grandfather gave my father an axe, and my father replaced the handle and gave it to me, and I replaced the head, is it still my grandfather’s axe?”

Philosophers, artists and those with too much time on their hands will converse all night and three weeks past Tuesday to argue the point either way. Those still in possession of all their faculties and with stuff to do will come to the conclusion, in about 5 seconds, that no it is not your grandfather’s axe and what was he doing with an axe in the first place?

Art restoration is an art form in its own right. When it comes to cleaning ancient paintings or whatever else of the grime of ages then you want to make sure that a seasoned professional is on the job.

When some self important cretins decide to repaint the Sisteen Chapel however that is not restoration, that is nothing more than vandalism because if you paint over the original then the original is no longer visible. What you’re looking at is a copy, plain and simple. Do you see how simple arguments become when the philosophers have a bag over their head and are told to stand in the corner?

Mr Hirst’s fish tanks full of dead animal are, of course, not to be compared with anything made by artists with actual talent but the same arguments hold true.

If you simply replace them with ones that look exactly the same they are not the same, they are copies. They are thinly veiled duplicates of the original inspiration. See how easy that is to determine? There’s an analogy here about polishing turds but I can’t remember exactly what it is!

So is Mr Hirst a Prat? Feel free to yell the answer at your leisure!

[ The Guardian ]