Thursday, April 24, 2008



I think Damian Hirst gets a bad rap. Sure, he is a ham and a lot of people have problems with hams in the art world. Look at the equally hammy Julian Schnabel: people got in such a tizzy about him too. So much so that no one noticed that his paintings— at least some of them—are pretty good. Like Schnabel, Hirst has made a few lemons filled with hot air, but he's had some zingers too. This skull, which reportedly sold for 100,000,000 clams might be my favorite of them all. It's brash, sensational, blingy, and uber-hammy. This at the outset might be a turn-off. At first I dismissed it as the usual ham sandwich; but when I gave it a penny's worth of thought I decided that Hirst was right on the money. He takes two heavy-duty concepts, death and money, and throws them together so perfectly that it almost looks too easy. In this hyper inflated art world drunk on dollars its timely as well. The endless pursuit of wealth is the ultimate pursuit to slather over our ultimate "oh-oh".
Sorry to break it to you. I hope I look as good as this skull a decade after I'm dead.

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