“I think people hate the guy because they hate venality, ego, and excess …”
“David Hockney and Yayoi Kusama have both scored points off of Hirst recently, needling him in the media about not personally painting his work. But, come on, we all know that these are cheap shots. Some artists make their work by hand, some don’t. I’d think that 90 years after Laszlo Maholy-Nagy phoned instructions for a painting into a factory we wouldn’t have to debate this point.”
In agreement for the most part; I think it’s silly for people who are actually in the art world to revert back to this flimsy argument. Yet… it has always been difficult to separate the artist and the art, and in many cases, and in Hirst’s especially, the persona is part and parcel of the work.
Recently, my criticism professor revisited issues of judgment. Hyper-theoretical oil bubbles of Kant and Donald Judd blop-blopped to the surface.
In an age of post-Enlightment where universals are left in sad, naive tumbleweed-dreams, the only reasonable conclusion I’ve realized I can come to is to accept that, tangentially related to Wilde’s sentiment wherein he says, “There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are either well written or badly written,” the case is similar but fine-tuned in the contemporary realm of visual arts.
There is no good art or bad art, only art that does or does not contribute to the great debate, to the public forum… in whatever way such a contribution manages to manifest. In such a light, I understand Hirst’s work, and I think the Spot Paintings are extremely influential, and even necessary.
That doesn’t mean I have to like them.
This is, what we call, a necessary evil.