Damien Hirst ‘Spin Paints’ AK-47 for London Art Show

Spin AK47 for Peace Day (2012), verso. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012. (Courtesy the artist's website)

For a new London art project, rifles have been decomissioned and customized—getting covered with flowers or pulverized into a fine dust. Bran Symondson, a photographer and former army reservist, came up with the idea for the project, “AKA Peace,” which opened yesterday at London’s Institute for Contemporary Arts, when he noted how policemen in Afghanistan would jazz up their guns with flowers and stickers, kind of like a teenager. With a little help from curator Jake Chapman, he got Damien Hirst to “spin-paint” one of them. Read More


11 Opinions About Damien Hirst

Hirst at his Tate Modern retrospective this year. (Courtesy Getty Images)

In today’s Guardian, critic Jonathan Jones called Damien Hirst “a national disgrace, a living example that talent is nothing and money is king.” That brutal putdown is only the latest in a long line of attacks from art critics, particularly in the British press, that Mr. Hirst has endured over his long career. In honor of this latest sally, let’s take a look back at some of the provocative opinions—positive and negative—that have been offered about the artist over the years. Read More


Michael Craig-Martin on Educating Damien Hirst

Still from 'Michael Craig-Martin: Educating Damien,' 2012. (Courtesy TateShots)

“Half of them have slept with each other,” says Michael Craig-Martin, a professor at Goldsmiths, about the Young British Artists (a k a YBAs), a group of students whose work he helped foster, in a new video by TateShots, “Michael Craig-Martin: Educating Damien.” Mr. Craig-Martin should know. He worked closely with the whole horny and artful bunch, which included Damien Hirst, Tracy Emin, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, who broke out into the art world in the 1988 exhibition “Freeze,” organized by Mr. Hirst. Read More


Damien Hirst Plans Monstrous Pregnancy Statue in Devon


The seaside village of Ilfracombe in North Devon, England, may earn a fairly unique tourist attraction in the near future.

Damien Hirst has proposed placing a 65-foot statue of a pregnant woman with a sword facing the water. Tenatively titled Verity, it reportedly already has a nickname: the “belly of the South.” Read More


Sophie Calle: ‘I Didn’t Want a Love Letter From Damien Hirst’

Sophie Calle, 2009. (Courtesy

In this month’s issue of The Believer, writer Sheila Heti visits French artist Sophie Calle for a tête-à-tête during the run of Ms. Calle’s piece, Room, for which, during one weekend last October, the artist outfitted a room at the Lowell Hotel in New York with personal items like a burnt mattress, a red wedding dress and a stuffed cat, and then stopped in from time to time to inhabit it. Commissioned by The French Institute Alliance Française as part of its annual contemporary art festival Crossing the Line, this was the latest in a line of intensely personal works by the artist, who is known for doing things like setting up a bed for a night on the Eiffel Tower and inviting guests to read her bedtime stories (Room with a View, 2002). Read More