Love-hate relationship with my prime loved, hated Robert Hughes coming down hard on the side of love following this little diatribe about the Hirst auction. Oh, those sentences of his! So damn sloppy and so fucking horrible in his stupid fucking autobiography and so damn tedious in The Fatal Shore, and yet so punchy in his art criticism, like a lighthouse beacon punching its way through the fog. Seriously, I get physical pleasure from beast sentences like this one:
The now famous diamond-encrusted skull, lately unveiled to a gawping art world amid deluges of hype, is a letdown unless you believe the unverifiable claims about its cash value, and are mesmerised by mere bling of rather secondary quality; as a spectacle of transformation and terror, the sugar skulls sold on any Mexican street corner on the Day of the Dead are 10 times as vivid and, as a bonus, raise real issues about death and its relation to religious belief in a way that is genuinely democratic, not just a vicarious spectacle for money groupies such as Hirst and his admirers.
Obviously I love it so much because I agree. And then, I've never seen a single work by Damien Hirst whose spirit couldn't be encapsulated in 30 words or less, and if you can do that, what the hell is the point of appreciating that it has been brought into existence as an object? Especially when it has no merit as a craft or technique. I can't stand the notion it, Koon's shit, or anything, for that matter, has some intrinsic value merely because it reflects the spirit of the age. You know what else does? Events. Beliefs. Conclusions. Traffic jams. Silicone spatulas. Words. The problem is you can't pretend those are art and sell them to fuckwits for 50 million a pop, though I'm sure some Hirst-esque cunt will have a go with the spatula, given enough time. Pack of parasitic whores.
The thing is with Hirst, I get the sense his brain doesn't work well enough to use words instead of uberobvious symbols he can hire people to create for him. He responded to Hughes' criticism by calling it Luddite, which actually made me laugh out loud. I know Luddite and Philistine both sound clever, but that doesn't make them mean the same thing. How exactly is it that Hughes would like to smash the industrial machinery of the modern world, you stupid bourgeios fucker? Unless, of course, you're pointing out that your own activities are not art, but industrial machinery - much like an HP printer that provides a clear but annoyingly useless metaphor for the modern rhythm of existence by jamming all the fucking time. Which begs the 50 million dollar question . . .