Spotmania - there's no end to it

January 13 2012

The Spots are producing some great candidates for guffwatch. Or perhaps we should have a new competition, Spotballs. Please send me good examples if you see them. If nothing else the exhibition is useful for flushing out the true believers, those Hirst disciples who, at this defining moment of revelation, still cannot see that it is all just meaningless. 

Here's the normally sound Adrian Searle squeezing out 900 Spot words for The Guardian, largely by explaining the bleeding obvious:

So here come the spots: a quarter century of two, three, four and five-inch circles, with some as big as 40in across, and others just a couple of millimetres. Never mind the shifts from imperial measurements to metric: they're all just spots. Clean and flatly painted circles of household gloss on white or off-white backgrounds, they cover canvases large and small in unremitting grids. No two spots touch, and no colour is repeated on the same canvas, although some are close as dammit to being the same hue.

And so it goes on.

More worryingly, here's the Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon, whom Christina Ruiz spotted:

...leaving the show when I finally manage to corner him. He is beaming. “I’m a really, really happy person having seen that,” he says. “It proves that these spot paintings are not a gimmick at all. They are part of an incredible system and they are a very serious exploration of what colour can do.”

You may get the impression that I don't like Damien Hirst. On the contrary, I am a great admirer. Not of his art, which is mostly no good, but of his brazenness, his financial success, his knack for publicity, and above all his ability to exploit the madder parts of the contemporary art world, and to reveal them for what they are, which is empty. I feel sure that one day he will turn around and say 'ha! fooled you!'. That's why he deserves his place in history (and his money). He will probably be remembered not as an artist, but as a comedian, one of the greatest of his age. And the joke was on us.

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