Is there something intrinsically beautiful in spontaneous random acts of art ?

Damien Hirst – Conceptual artist.

In 2012, the Guardian newspaper ran a story reporting that Damien Hirst could not paint, had no skill as an artist, and was an idea’s man. The article pulled him apart and the art world for faking art…. citing that a musician would be expected to play the piano, but an artist who could  not draw “can get away” with it in the art world and gain wide acclaim.


Many people will continue to share this view I am sure. Damien Hirst works and popularity in the art world sparks controversy. His work includes the consideration of colour,  from the 1980’s  onwards – the Spot paintings dhs3823_0_1280_0.jpg

to the spin paintings…..


‘Beautiful, pop, spinning ice creamy, whirling, expanding painting’ (1995). Photographed by Stephen White © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

A series of artwork made in the way, I remember Blue Peter showing us all, how to make colourful disc’s of random colours. In fact in the 1970’s you could buy the little plastic toy spinning kits and paints and paper disc’s.  Millions of UK kids were spraying the house with acrylic paint. It was once a common toy.

In the 1990’s and 2000’s Damien played, won acclaim and was paid handsomely from the art world. Some people would say well done to him… right time, right place, right people and then you become a millionaire. Or is there something more? Does Damien Hirst have the ability to sell to the art world anything? Can it just be that the art world lost its sense of art? Was he was lucky and gave out the right product at the right time?

Or do we intrinsically as a species appreciate something beyond the idea that its easy to make,  random in its creation and doesn’t require a specific skill?  I mean, turning the disc and allowing the paint to slide off where it will, can be done by a seven year old and believe me it was in 1972…. I wish I had kept them. 🙂

If I add my name to the motorbike that has paint spun centrifugally to its parts, its a hippy dippy Harley Davidson….. add Damien Hirst’s name and we have a work of art that was auctioned at Sotherbys in 2009. 01Spin-Harley.jpg

Conceptual? Random colour painting? What ever you want to call this…. Vs “Skilled” still life artists,

This point of discussion has been carrying on since conceptual art came to the foreground and no doubt will continue… but my reason for bringing this up now is to Not examine the cost of the artworks or the fame that can come to an artist… lets take out the money or individual names and look at the work. Is it beautiful? Is it inspiring and uplifting? Does it make you feel anything? or would you prefer the figurative beauty of a Rembrandt?


Most people can appreciate the skill Rembrandt utilised in his art work, including myself…he is one of my favourite artists,,,, however I would not wish to buy his work, nor show his work in my environment. I personally find it emotional, dark and melancholy, and I have a deep appreciation for this, but don’t want it surrounding me.

Taking the designer out of the process – Daniel EatockDaniel-Eatock-Pens-Paper10-CRsite-1.jpg

Pen Prints, 2011, installation view, UTS Gallery, Sydney.

Daniel Eatock prepares prints by placing felt tip pens under sheets of paper and allowing the ink to soak randomly over time. He describes taking the designer / artist out to get process and the “machine” of the felt tips creating the work.

Daniel-Eatock-Pens-Paper7-CRsite.jpgPantone Pen Print, 2006. A complete set of Letraset TRIA Pantone markers are arranged in the order of the colour spectrum. The pens are rested nib-down on a stack of 500 sheets of 70gsm uncoated white paper and left for one month.

This is random in how the pens leak the ink into the paper overtime, but the choices of colour and order they are placed in, is governed by the artist. These decisions are not taken   by a random force, but as with Damien Hirst’s work are governed by the human involved. Could we say that this is a shared collusion? Shared with the physical forces around us that we as artists put into play.

I had a play with some water colour pencils and ink, gesture marking playfully and then adding water….no intentional aims….IMG_1699.jpgIMG_1705.jpg

The water brightened the coloured pencils and allowed the ink to soak and blur, I like the result … its fresh, lively and aesthetically pleasing to me, I would place it on a wall and I would have probably paid a large amount of money if Damien Hirst had signed it….but maybe not everyone would agree it’s great art?


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