martes, 28 de julio de 2015

10 Questions For Damien Hirst

Hi. I'm Belinda Luscombe I'm the editor-at-large at Time Magazine. Damien Hirst is one of the world's most successful, most famous and wealthiest artists. He's currently filling 11 of Larry Gagosian’s galleries with paintings spots and we’re here to ask 10 questions about that. Mister Hirst, welcome.
So 11 galleries around the world filled with your spot paintings. What about this idea interested you?
I was looking at Larry's gallery uptown and he has on the wall, always been, has an exhibition. He has every gallery that he owns with the different artists that are on that printed on the wall. And when I first saw it I thought I could do, you know, the only artist in the world probably is me and then the only body of work I could use is the spots to fill all the galleries. So I guess it was a sort of perverted megalomania idea.
You had actually only painted five, is that right, of the spot paintings yourself?
Actually, looking around the show I think it was probably closer to 25.
25! How far can you go with the whole kinda outsourcing idea of getting, you know, it's not like you're the only ass that does that. It’s familiar but well, could you take me to Sri Lanka, could you train people in, you know, like American corporations too?
Well, you know, as an artist you've always got to believe you can train anybody to make them, because if  you’re harnessing other people’s, you know, talents, you know, I mean I paint from photographs as well very realistically, and I've always been very careful to not hire somebody who’s an absolutely brilliant painter in their own right because then you kind of have to rely on their own time whereas it’s much better to just, you know, believe that anybody can do this. You have to train them.
So you’re saying you hire numskulls? Somebody paints you something good and you say, sir, you are way too good…
You’ve got to be a painter. I think just basic skills, you know. You just want people with basic skills.
The security guard over there asked me what do the circles mean? And I was like, oh, well I can actually find out for you if you…
Well, if you say the red ones mean love, the white ones mean purity, the black ones mean death, the blue ones about the blues, the green ones are about jealousy.
Are you making this up as you go or is this actually something you thought about?
You know, any kind of art is like, you know, I make art you know. Words are not really…
What it’s about?
…adequate to describe it. What does it mean to you and actually I suppose in a way they are about that human edge to, you know, make order out of chaos, or to make order out of the world, you know, it’s like why we, you know, like a grid but really, you know, the things that we’re trying to put into grids won’t be put into grids and I mean, that’s what the whole human life’s about.
I guess in the same way a lot of your work, not the spots, but it deals with sort of decay and death and squalor. Where does this come from? Where do you think of this?
Well, I always have to go for both sides of the story, really, you know, it’s like when I make a book of fly painting, I always think, you know, I don’t wanna be to seem to be too sloppy, so I’ll do a fly painting for that. Just think, oh my God, you know, love is an amazing thing, but children are being murdered in Africa as we speak, you know. It’s like that’s the world, isn’t it? You’ve got these massive polarities and extremes all the time and I try to make that, it reflects that.
You talk about having an impact on how your worst fear is to be forgotten or overlooked, which is not going to happen and in fact some of your work has been sort of incredibly controversial and discussed and one of them, I guess, is The Skull, I believe. I see you’re wearing a lot of skulls today, Love of God.
Which is the diamond encrusted platinum skull and there is a sort of showmanship to that that is sort of reminiscent, people have said to me, of the kind of thing you see on, say on television today in shows like Pimp My Ride or Cake Boss, you probably have them in England where…
Yes, I love Pimp My Ride.
…where people are making these sort of amazing creations.
Now I mean you want…
Well, I wanted where you saw the division?
Well, I think you know, I mean I think anything done well really is you know super well is art. I mean, I don’t believe in God, but I think you know my belief in art is kind of a bit religious. You know, I always think it’s like a mathematical sum where you, you know, miraculously make one plus one equals three. You can do something like a diamond skull  and it can be, it can be one plus one equals two and that’s not good enough, where it can be one plus one equals one, you know, and you can wish you never did it and it never comes out of the studio. But, you know, for the diamond skull I think it is an artist makes an art form what’s around them. We just had to be, you know, with all these boom times and everybody buying lots of money. I mean it’d be my wildest dreams and I had no money when I was a kid. So to be in that situation was kind of nuts and really as the time goes by anything I could come up with to make, you know, kind of scared the hell out of me, but it dawned on me that, you know, I was in the position of imprisoned kings, you know, where you spend millions on fabricating something, you know, I hate to say it, but I think it’s probably, it’s a lot harder for artists to make money to make art when you have money really.
Oh, I was gonna ask you that.
Yes, it’s funny how that looks. I hate the idea of the Van Gogh starving artist, you know, so I think, you know, money should always be a key and not much of any factor, something to enable you rather than something to drive you, you know, it’s very complicated. I think money is as complicated as love.
This from a man who’s worth conservatively 300 million dollars, right?
Who knows.
Pounds, or is it pounds? Oh, you don’t know?
Well, I mean it changes, you know, worth is like, you know, I’ve got , you know, I’m okay, I’m sure. I mean, I was speaking to my accountant about my kids basically and he said, don’t worry about the kids. and I was like I said, but you know, he can’t. If you don’t have that kind of background, if you’re not born into money, you always worry, you know. You can’t help it.
So you’re not gonna bull-pocket from me?
300 million dollars?
Dollars? Not pounds?
Pounds, maybe. Pounds or dollars, that’s always good, isn’t it? The pounds-dollars switch.
It’s kind of the same thing really these days. It depends if you gotta sell everything in a fire stat sale, isn’t it?
Mr Hirst, thanks very much.