Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba, 1648
© The National Gallery, London
|Damien Hirst, Beautiful, childish, expressive, |
tasteless, not art, over simplistic, throw away...1996
This week sees the opening of Damien Hirst's retrospective show at Tate Modern. The show charts Hirst's works in a timeline, and includes a number of seminal pieces. However this exhibition is not just about sharks, cows, and the £36,000 limited edition plastic skull you can buy in the gift shop on the way out. In conversations all week with cabbies, pundits and critics, reactions have centred around Hirst being overrated, overvalued and a charlatan. Brian Sewell wrote one the most vitriolic articles imaginable in the Evening Standard, and so one might imagine I'd have my work cut out to get you along to the Tate to see for yourself. However, in the way that I encouraged you to go to the Hockney exhibition to learn about perspective, I'd encourage you to see Hirst to explore your reactions to Death with a capital D, and to consider the impact of economics, commerciality and desirability on art.