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Just Don’t Look

April 3, 2008

Do we need more? If last year’s media blitz surrounding Hirst’s “For the Love of God” seemed like much ado about nothing that would never, ever end, the skull encrusted with diamonds apparently appears as the cover for April’s Artforum (I have yet to receive mine, so cannot confirm).

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Cover: Damien Hirst, For the Love of God, 2007, platinum, diamonds, and human teeth, 63⁄4 x 5 x 7 1⁄2″.

Fortunately, it is at least accompanied by a very appropriate header: Art and its Market. I have previously put forth that this is indeed the simple function of the piece: as a bellwether for Hirst’s art market share, ensuring he remains expensive. Hirst’s tired rhetoric that he is investigating the “big themes” of death, birth and life is almost irrelevant when one examines the powerful market influences that this piece symbolizes and exerts.

For those of us that were bored with Hirst’s product the minute it was shown and have become increasingly irritated at the attention it has received since, while other art virtually ceased to exist, I have a suggestion. Like most things in life, the Simpsons provides the perfect advice, coming straight out of “Treehouse of Horror VI” from the vignette “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores.” When giant advertisements come to life and start destroying the town, the only way to stop them is to stop paying attention to them. “Just don’t look,” is the advice to the people of Springfield and my advice to everyone sick of Hirst’s hype.

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