For some years now, a young artist called Eric has been living next door to me.
We see each other at odd times, mostly at the lift landing in our apartment block, he on the way to the gym, me to the market or to Tiffany’s. I’ve been to his exhibitions locally, though he often globetrots and exhibits worldwide.
This morning, he was waiting for the lift as I was leaving the apartment. We chatted about an upcoming show he was exhibiting at The Raffles hotel, which he said featured taxidermy, or the art of reproducing a life-like 3D representation of an animal for permanent display.
“That sounds like something that artist does — what’s his name –Damien Hirst?” I said.
I could see the artist about to respond, and ignoring what I saw and being true to self, I barrelled on. “I don’t really like Damien Hirst,” I said, grimacing at the thought of the British artist’s most controversial work, including one of a 14-foot tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde grandly titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living and the diamond-encrusted cast of a human skull cast in platinum and embedded with 8,601 diamonds.
Mr Hirst is reported to be Britain’s richest living artist whose wealth last year was valued at £215m.
Eric then said he had changed galleries in Hongkong. The new one representing him also happens to represent, who else, Damien Hirst.
It’s a wonder that I maintained my balance this morning, when I had once again stuck one proverbial foot in my mouth.
Take this poll please.
- David Galenson: The Genius of Damien Hirst (huffingtonpost.com)