Damien Hirst's Spots Severed

April 29 2020

Image of Damien Hirst's Spots Severed

Picture: Art-Critique.com

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

A Brooklyn based collective of artists and designers known as MSCHF have made news by cutting up a painting by Damien Hirst. The group recently purchased one of the British artist's famous Spot Paintings for $30,000 and proceeded to cut it up into individual works which they have re-branded as Severed Spots. They are selling each of the 88 spots at $480 dollars a piece, which will raise $42,240 if they manage to sell them all.

Cutting up artworks is nothing new. There are many interesting examples to be found in the world of old masters. One might remember the 'Hand of God' drawing by Michelangelo, a fragment from a larger study for the Sistine Chapel that somebody decided was worth cutting out (and has since be restored). In 2018 Christie's sold a cut-out drawing by Lucas van Leyden from Rugby School for a staggering £11.4m (including fees).

This regularly happened to paintings too, especially ones that had been damaged or were considered commercially unattractive. This project has reconstructed several images of large eighteenth century paintings that were exhibited at Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and now only survive in fragments (head to section IX).

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