February 7, 2012

Bisphenol A By Damien Hirst

hirst_bpa.jpg
image via sothebys.com, © Damien Hirst/ Science Ltd, 2012
Photography Prudence Cuming Associates

There's a rather insane art exhibition on in the world right now, 331 of the existing Damien Hirst Spot Paintings are on view in all eleven branches of the Gagosian Gallery: three in New York; two in London; plus Paris, Geneva, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong, and LA.

If you see them all, and get your little card stamped to prove it, Hirst will give you a personalized Spot print of some kind. GBonenfant, who finished today,, is th 19th person to do complete the Spot Challenge.

For a little while, I considered chartering a G4 and splitting it 10-11 ways, so that we could make the 8-city, 30,000-mile trip to see all the spot paintings in under 72 hours flat. [A friend at the gallery assured me we could arrange to have them open for us in the middle of the night, if needed.] It was going to cost upwards of $450,000, though, so yeah, no.

Anyway, Hirst painted the first few Spot Paintings himself in the late 1980s, but since then, his assistants have been cranking the "endless" series out with intentionally machine-like precision. So far they've made about 1500 in various shapes, sizes, and densities, but they're all basically just spots. For the titles, Hirst randomly selects pharmaceutical names from a giant physicians' desk reference book.

Which means that there is literally no significance to the fact that this small [9x10 inch] 1995 painting being sold at Sotheby's next week in London is named Bisphenol A, except whatever associations I or you or the baby gear-savvy world project upon it. If that's enough to move you to shell out 50,000, though, now's your chance. Chump.

Feb. 16, 2012, Lot 102: BISPHENOL A, est 35-55,000 GBP. [sothebys.com]

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