NOWNESS presents Damien Hirst – “On the Spot”

January 20, 2012

A rhinestone-wearing Damien Hirst explains the theory and thought behind his infamous spot paintings in the latest short from filmmaker Matt Black. The legendary British artist, made famous by submerging mammals in formaldehyde and creating jaw-droppingly expensive jewel-encrusted skulls, has become one of the most prolific and lucrative names in contemporary art. The Complete Spot Paintings, 1986-2011, his series of 331 white canvasses imbued with rows of multicolored dots, are currently on display at all 11 of mega-gallerist Larry Gagosian’s sites around the globe. Manufactured largely by Hirst’s army of assistants, the paintings range in size and detail, with the most recent, completed in 2011, containing some 25,781 spots each 1mm in diameter; no single color is ever repeated on a canvas. Black first encountered Hirst’s hyper-symmetrical series in the mid 1990s, and found that his opinion on the works slowly developed from ambivalence to fascination. “When you are in a room full of them, they are overwhelming and disturbing; these dots staring at you creates a real sense of anxiety,” says Black. “His work always has an aggressiveness, and these are no exception.”

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