Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Blog 2

Artist, Pirate or business man?

We were given an article from The Guardian to read by Robert Hughes (Austrailian art critic), it was meant to be his explanation as to why he's taken a stand against Damien Hirst's work, and an art world where prices bear no relation to talent. Infact, what Hughes wrote was a scornful, one sided, extremely opinionated attack on Hirst's work and his fans.

First of all, Hughes calls Hirst a "pirate", now to me, a pirate is someone who robs from ships. Or, I suppose, you could see it from a copyright sense but as far as I am aware, Hirst hasn't stolen any ideas (only in the idea recycling way that every other creative does). Perhaps others have had similar ideas but spent so long dithering over whether to do it or not that Hirst has had his own idea and actually produced it.

He then goes on to call Hirst buyers "dumb (indeed, the dummer the better)" and says that "...the presence of a Hirst in a collection is a sure sign of dullness of taste." I know Hughes is a big world renowned acclaimed art critic, but who is he to say what taste should people have? Those comments even go beyond attacking Hirst and onto his fans and followers.

Hughes then goes onto call some of Hirst's works "pointless", "Simple-minded" and "sensationalist". These are really derogatory comments to publicly say about anyones work and I think there are alot of people that would argue against this. He says this is what his work is like, as though it is fact but infact he is just forcing his negative opinions upon us.

The majority of this article is attacking Hirst's work "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living". I don't think this title is "pretentious" as Hughes suggests, I'd say the majority of people in the world have not seen a dead anything physically infront of them, nevermind a shark, and I guess this is why so many are drawn to this concept. I agree that the alleged $12m that was parted with for the decaying formaldahyde covered shark is a little steep but surely that's the buyers decision?! In my opinion, if this person liked the idea so much, they should've bought Hirst's original sketches, but maybe they have more money than sense?

"It might have had a little more point if Hirst had caught it himself". So what if he didn't catch the shark himself? It's still his work, nobody ever complains that a film or book or fashion show wasn't made by only one person, some things need more hands and heads to work on it. think of all the self-portrait photography in the world, even they need creative input of more than one peron for it to work.

Finally, I noticed Hughes mocking this work too "...a housefly is a ravening murderous beast. Maybe Hirst should pickle one, and throw in a magnifying glass or two." Is this pure contempt of Hirst or envy??

Whilst I agree with alot of Hughes' points and I myself am not a massive fan of Hirsts' work, I can see why people are. In my opinion, I think he is a better businessman than artist (many would disagree with me). I suppose the point of us reading this article is to see how not to critically analyse. In order to critisize properly we need to demonstrate that we know all of the facts, and think logically and rationally about our opinions and not fall inot a full blown rant.

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