Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holding Robert Hughes's coat

When the venerable art critic puts you down, you stay down. This is him in the Guardian on Damien Hirst's recent rights issue:
One might as well get excited about seeing a dead halibut on a slab in Harrods food hall. Living sharks are among the most beautiful creatures in the world, but the idea that the American hedge fund broker Steve Cohen, out of a hypnotised form of culture-snobbery, would pay an alleged $12m for a third of a tonne of shark, far gone in decay, is so risible that it beggars the imagination. As for the implied danger, it is worth remembering that the number of people recorded as killed by sharks worldwide in 2007 was exactly one. By comparison, a housefly is a ravening murderous beast. Maybe Hirst should pickle one, and throw in a magnifying glass or two.


  1. Plus "Charles Saatchi, that untiring patron of the briefly new." Ow. And, indeed, ch.

  2. Didn't Hirst have a big tank of flies eating a horses head in one his vitrine? There was an article by Hughes' old friend Ms Greer teasing him about his recent tirade, it seems he really only likes old masters.

  3. I think that's probably what Damien Hirst would say. He's the author of "The Shock Of The New" and the definitive book about Lucian Freud. I don't think it's fair to say he only likes Old Masters.

  4. At university 'the shock of the new' was on everyone's shelves which kind of makes his argument all the more powerful.
    I could listen to him speak all day.