Wednesday, October 14, 2009

'Are Hirst's paintings any good? No, they're not worth looking at' - Features, Art - The Independent

'Are Hirst's paintings any good? No, they're not worth looking at' - Features, Art - The Independent

So here we go, beating up on poor Damien Hirst again.

A few choice lines from the review by Tom Lubbock:

These Hirst paintings are way outside that range. They're thoroughly derivative. Their handling is weak. They're extremely boring. I'm not saying that he's absolutely hopeless. But I'm not saying he's any good either. There are many degrees of painting. There are many painters in evening classes much worse than Hirst. On the other hand, you'd find quite a few who were better, too. To try to be accurate: Hirst, as a painter, is at about the level of a not-very-promising, first-year art student. He is in his mid-forties.

And, after discussing one painting in particular:

But come now. This is ridiculous. To talk in this considered way is to pretend that the paintings can be taken seriously.

Me thinks Tom Lubbock doesn't care much for Damien Hirst.

But then, there are fans of Hirst that wouldn't sit still for such; check out this tread on Hacker News that starts with:

I can't believe Tom Lubbock - a long time art critic - could sound like such an art debutante. Hirst is one of the most significant artists of the last two decades regardless of his technical prowess.

Yeah, right ........................ as if technical prowess is not something required of a painter - and here is the dilemma of this post-modern world: technical skills, as being the vocabulary for an artist to communicate with his audience, has been lost and is in many cases not taught in art schools.

But read on:

Whether or not his other work is good, these paintings are bad, and they're shown here only because he is "significant". Lubbock isn't necessarily saying Hirst is talentless. He's saying his paintings lack merit. No amount of significance detracts from a bad painting.


Update: more critics are joining the rush to beat up on Hirst, the latest now is the London Evening Standard's Brian Sewell, titled: Stop it, Damien Hirst, you're embarrassing yourself

1 comment:

The Mystic said...

Update: Times On Line picking Damiens bones as well. No "Love Lost" indeed!