A spinning wheel and a splodge of paint – how hard can a 'Hirst' be?
Liam O'Brien joins the artist at a workshop for the Kids Company charity in London
Friday 15 June 2012
They have been described by his most irascible critics as "junk food", created by anonymous helpers and easy to reproduce. Yesterday, a bunch of primary school children had their own go at making Damien Hirst artworks.
Specifically, the children were trying their hands at spin painting, in the style of the multimillionaire artist, aided by assistants from his company, Science Ltd. So if they can do it, why would anyone pay £668,450 for one of Hirst's?
Alas, it turns out spin-painting is not as easy it looks, as I soon discovered. To make the works, a pre-cut piece of cartridge paper is pinned down on to a spinning platform and brushed with water. Then you splodge on the paint.
I chose to use a skull-shaped piece of paper (a popular, if morbid choice), but whacked on some pink and gold paint so as not to create something resembling Voldemort's Dark Mark of Harry Potter fame.
As the platform spun around, Hirst's assistant seemed to suggest that the event at Covent Garden in central London, in aid of Camila Batmanghelidjh's charity Kids Company, was one of the more pleasurable tasks the Science Ltd team has been assigned – better, certainly, than sourcing thousands of dead flies for one of the artist's more unsightly creations.
Despite keeping to Hirst's advice – "If in doubt, stop. If you think it might be finished, stop" – my effort looked pretty dreadful. As did, though it seems mean to say it, the children's enthusiastic contributions. Even Hirst himself seemed to be having an off-day – his own heart-shaped design left a lot to be desired – but his piece is nevertheless likely to fetch a princely sum when it is auctioned at a gala Kids Company dinner in October.
The event was Hirst's first public appearance since it emerged that Maia Norman, his partner and mother of his three children, had left him for a former army officer, Timothy Spicer.
As a result, any questions directed towards the artist were met with a scream of "no press!" from his minders. But with many newspapers fixated on Hirst's love life, Ms Batmanghelidjh was more forthcoming about a lesser-known side of the artist. "He has supported us and never tried to announce it, but actually he has given £2m over the years," she said. "Not once did he ask for credits or acknowledgement."
Filming to begin on two new series due to be aired on Dave from next year
TVBBC hopes latest Danish import will spell success
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Indonesia executions: Death row British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford will refuse to wear a blindfold when she faces firing squad
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Grace Dent on TV: Peter Kay's Car Share made me genuinely LOL
Avengers: Age of Ultron set to make box office history with $84.5m US opening
The highly NSFW poster for Gaspar Noé's Love makes Nymphomaniac look like 50 Shades
Red Dwarf returns: Craig Charles quits Coronation Street to return to comedy sci-fi series
New on Netflix UK May 2015: From Fast & Furious 6 to World War Z and Grace and Frankie
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils