Damien Hirst is (allegedly) a lying fraud

Damien Hirst, once an enfant terrible of the 90s UK art scene, has long since graduated to just being terrible. From laying off 63 members of his studio staff at the height of the pandemic while his companies claimed £15 million in government loans (he’s one of the richest artists in the world btw), to leading his fanbase into the murky world of NFTs, this man has never been art’s most principled soldier, but now he’s reportedly been exposed as a straight-up fraud too.

As reported by the Guardian, Hirst created at least 1,000 paintings dated to 2016 several years after the fact, despite inscribing the year on the artworks beside his very own signature. The works in question? A bunch of coloured dots on A4 paper, which the artist presented as a series called The Currency in 2021 (the one where fans were given the option of buying the physical painting for £2,000, or burning it and receiving an NFT instead).

At the time of the sale, which netted Hirst a cool $18 million, he said of the project: “It comprises of [sic] 10,000 NFTs, each corresponding to a unique physical artwork made in 2016.” The seller of the artworks, Heni (which is run by Hirst’s business manager) also specified that the paintings were “created by hand in 2016 using enamel paint on handmade paper”.

On a related note: I’ve just decided that this article was written in May 2124. Hello from the future. Not much has changed but Damien Hirst’s body is exhibited in the National Gallery, preserved in a vat of the artist’s own chemicals. It was the world’s first billion-pound artwork – he took the payment in advance and still somehow managed to avoid paying any taxes.

Anyway, back to 2024. The Guardian report also features details of the painting process, which was – as one artist recalls – “very, very tedious”. The “factory-style” production saw many painters work eight-hour days in gas masks (to protect them from the fumes) to paint hundreds of pages marked with Hirst’s head and a stamp of authenticity, laid out on long tables. “There were loads of sheets on these tables, and they were quite low so you had to constantly bend down to do the spots,” says another artist. “After a while some people were getting repetitive strain injuries.” Lawyers for Hirst and Science have responded that they always adhered to relevant health and safety rules and practices.

Is it a surprise that Hirst doesn’t seem that well-liked among his workers? Not really. Does it come as a shock that he misled collectors about a few dates, when he’s also the man who torched half his fans’ artworks and sold them essentially nothing? Also no. Want to make a complaint? Just wait 100 years, and you can come to the National Gallery and say it to his pickled face.

  • For more: Elrisala website and for social follow us on Facebook
  • Source of information and images “dazeddigital

Related Articles

Back to top button