Damien Hirst has been praised in recognition of his celebrity and the way this has galvanised interest in the arts, raising the profile of British art and helping to (re)create the image of “Cool Britannia.” In the mid-1990s, the then-Heritage Secretary, Virginia Bottomley recognised him as “a pioneer of the British art movement”, and even sheep farmers were pleased he had raised increased interest in British lamb. Janet Street-Porter praised his originality, which had brought art to new audiences and was the “art-world equivalent of the Oasis concerts at Earl’s Court”.
Andres Serrano is also known for shocking work and understands that contemporary fame does not necessarily equate to lasting fame, but backs Hirst: “Damien is very clever … First you get the attention … Whether or not it will stand the test of time, I don’t know, but I think it will.” Sir Nicholas Serota commented, “Damien is something of a showman … It is very difficult to be an artist when there is huge public and media attention. Because Damien Hirst has been built up as a very important figure, there are plenty of sceptics ready to put the knife in.”
Tracey Emin said: “There is no comparison between him and me; he developed a whole new way of making art and he’s clearly in a league of his own. It would be like making comparisons with Warhol. “Despite Hirst’s insults to him, Saatchi remains a staunch supporter, labelling Hirst a genius, and stating:
General art books dated 2105 will be as brutal about editing the late 20th century as they are about almost all other centuries. Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Hirst will be a footnote.
Hirst was among the names in Blake Gopnik’s 2011 list “The 10 Most Important Artists of Today”, with Gopnik interpreting Hirst’s career as “a metaphor for how consumption has become our guiding force”.
Damien Hirst Prints
Browse available prints and multiples.