Against my better judgement, I went to see the Damien Hirst Exhibition at Tate Modern.
I have never been a fan of Hirst’s work. Whether it was because of his perceived ‘commercialism’ and the fact that many think he is almost a creation of Charles Saatchi, or whether I just didn’t get some of his work, I don’t know. To be honest, for some of the work on display at Tate, my sentiments have not changed. However, overall I have to say that I came away much less anti-Hirst than I expected.
There are some beautiful works, for example the butterfly paintings such as Sympathy in White Major – Absolution II 2006 and Doorway to the Kingdom of Heaven 2007 (Tripytch) and the incredibly opulent Judgement Day (2009).
Whatever you think of Hirst, there is no doubt a spark of genius in his creativity and in his ability to challenge what we think of as art. And if he needs to shock us by cutting cows in half, in order to achieve that aim, so what? But however much my perceptions were changed, it was not enough to persuade me to part with £37,000 in the Tate shop to acquire a limited edition Skull. Definitely the most expensive souvenir shop I have ever visited!
Like him or not, you should go along. The exhibition is on until September but it is advisable to book.