The Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry has attacked Damien Hirst’s work as “hackneyed” and “tatty”. The transvestite potter, 53, who will deliver the BBC Reith Lectures this month, said the “phenomenally successful” artist was playing “a good game”.
Asked to name the artworks he most disliked, Perry placed at the top of his list Hirst’s work The Physical Impossibility Of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living – a shark suspended in formaldehyde.
Hirst’s retrospective at Tate Modern last year, complete with a rotting cow’s head and a diamond-encrusted human skull, was the most popular solo show in the gallery’s history, attracting about 463,000 visitors. But Perry told Radio Times: “Hirst is very famous, incredibly rich and successful and he’s played a good game. He’s pulled off his masterstrokes again and again. They’re iconic examples of appropriation, but to an insider in the art world they’re hackneyed. They suffer from the Mona Lisa curse: when an artwork becomes incredibly famous it’s difficult to see it as an artwork. It becomes a cause célèbre. “I can only look at it as a bit tatty; I can’t see it as an artwork.”