Saturday, June 02, 2007

Hirst in our House

A lot of fuss in the media today about Damien Hirst, who has cast an eighteenth-century skull in platinum and covered it in 8,601 diamonds - you can look at it here.

And what's he saying in this oeuvre? I think - and hey, it's not too profound an insight, is it? - the price tag of fifty million quid says quite a lot about art and money - art's worth exactly what someone's prepared to pay for it and we're only interested in this skull because it's so expensive. Because if you bought it you couldn't really keep it on top of the telly, as a daily reminder of both your wealth and of your mortality, because it would be a bit expensive to insure.

So you'd have to keep it in a bank vault somewhere and get a cheap replica to keep on top of the telly instead. And actually, if it was a cheap replica, I'm not sure you'd want it on top of the telly or anywhere else because it's not that intrinsically interesting. Looks a bit tacky, in fact, really.

But who knows - perhaps that's what Mr Hirst intended. Perhaps he's taking the piss out of art collectors who'll pay a fortune for something it's by someone famous. I rather hope he is. But wouldn't it then be glorious if nobody bought it? And, sadly, someone will.

But, now, this is more interesting. I am, as you may know, in Leeds, and Damien Hirst was at school with my brother, just up the road, and Damien Hirst, aged about fourteen, came to a bonfire party at this very house once, and, while everyone else was out watching the fireworks, he stayed indoors and drank up everybody's drinks and got really, really drunk in THE VERY ROOM WHERE I'M WRITING THIS BLOG.

(And, as I've mentioned before, my parents, whose house it was then, have never, ever forgiven him, and whenever his name is mentioned, they remark, in unwitting Life-of-Brian quotation, "Well he may be a world famous artist, but we think he's just a very naughty boy.")

So the room where I'm writing once contained the youthful Damien Hirst. Clinging to the walls and floor are minute traces of his drunken vomit. He, and hence all the genesis of his future art were to be found in this room.

I offer you our whole house as a piece of conceptual art called Damien Hirst Got Very Very Pissed Here. I'm very fond of our house, but not THAT fond of it. Every man has his price, and so does every woman. Offers invited, and if they're high enough I might throw in the fig tree too.


Blogger Silverback said...

You should have one of those 'a famous person once threw up here' plaques on the outside wall of the house at the VERY least.

But until the house sells for a squillion quid, can I suggest using an air freshener in that room !

12:17 am  
Blogger Ian Appleby said...

Daphne, buy the skull. It will look lovely on the mantlepiece next to your Blogpower award*.

* Well, ok, at this stage it's still just a nomination (see category 12). You may be interested to learn that additional nominations count towards the final shortlist of ten in each category, and that anyone can nominate.

10:01 pm  

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