In a time of economic uncertainty, one artist was seemingly able to defy all odds and propel himself into realm of the most expensive living artist of all-time. However, while financial controversy has always surrounded the exorbitant prices commanded by Damien Hirst’s artwork, new allegations surface that many of Hirst’s pieces are near direct inspirations from previous works. The issue doesn’t lie in the fact that Hirst derived inspirations by others but rather his unwillingness to concede that he was in fact inspired by previous works. The full article can be seen over at The Guardian while some excerpts can be seen below.
Charles Thomson, the artist and co-founder of the Stuckists, a group campaigning for traditional artistry, collated the number of plagiarism claims relating to Hirst’s work for the latest issue of the Jackdaw art magazine.
He came up with 15 examples, with eight said to be new instances of plagiarism. The tally includes the medicine cabinets that Hirst first displayed in 1989, and its development in 1992 – a room-size installation called Pharmacy.
“Hirst puts himself forward as a great artist, but a lot of his work exists only because other artists have come up with original ideas which he has stolen,” said Thomson. “Hirst is a plagiarist in a way that would be totally unacceptable in science or literature.”
He said: “Damien sees an idea, tweaks it a little bit, tries to make it more commercial. He’s not like an artist inspired by looking inwards. He looks for ideas from other people. It’s superficial. Put both [crucified sheep] together and … it’s the same thing.”
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