It’s hard to think of a more deliciously vicious bookending. Jonathan Jones opens his Guardian critique of British artist Damien Hirst’s new London exhibition of, gulp, paintings, called, “Two Weeks One Summer” like this:
The last time I saw paintings as deluded as Damien Hirst‘s latest works, the artist’s name was Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. A decade ago the son of Libya’s then still very much alive dictator showed sentimental paintings of desert scenes in an exhibition sponsored by fawning business allies. Searching for some kind of parallel to the arrogance and stupidity of Hirst’s still life paintings, I find myself remembering that strange, sad spectacle.
Ouchsticks. And in case you might be confused, the final paragraph:
This exhibition is a warning to young artists. At 18, you may long to be Damien Hirst when he was 30. But in his 40s, Hirst apparently wishes he was the artist that, who knows, he might have been, had he spent his youth drawing day after day after day. He has left it too late. Instead he looks like a tyrant lost in a world of mirrors, like the world’s most overpraised child, like a disgrace to his, my, generation. Are we this bankrupt?