Friday, June 1, 2007

Why I Don't Like Rich People

Rich people tend to be art patrons, which is an admirable thing...except when they are buying art from Damien Hirst. Hirst is well-known as one of the largest conceptual artists and is considered, in my mind, as a contemporary of Jeff Koons for being a huge blowhard. Hirst is best known for suspending various animals in formaldehyde and "drawing" pictures of dots*. I would be OK with such blatant displays of non-talent if he weren't such a dick about it. But, Damien Hirst is a huge dick about it. I should figure nothing less from someone who does art like his.

I bring up Damien Hirst because he has displayed his newest piece:

This gem is a PLATINUM skull encrusted with over 8500 diamonds and cost over $20 Million. Hirst is looking to sell this for ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS to keep him from getting ripped off. Hmm, I wonder who's really getting ripped off here? Damien Hirst who might lose a few million that didn't really cost him to make this, or the buyer who just spent 100 Mil to buy a fucking diamond encrusted skull and brag to their friends about how they made one of the dumbest purchases in the history of all time? I'm not sure if he's trying to be dadaist or what, but Damien Hirst either needs to start doing real art or stop wasting my time with these hugely public displays of his new openings for his non-art.

*I say that he "drew" them because he actually didn't draw them. His assistants did them for them. I understand that this plays into a fundamental question of authenticity that has been in discussion since the rise of the Minimalists and was directly questioned before them by the Dadaists. My stance on the issue is that when a piece can be produced by the artists, it should be. The Minimalists were unable to produce their own art due to its scale, but they were giving full instructions to the foundries that were actually manufacturing their art. The difference between Hirst and those artists is that Hirst is disengaged from the creation of some of his art. There is no input other than saying, you, paint this on this scale.