Friday, January 13, 2012

Dots, On Dots, On Dots: Damien Hirst Exhibit

Explaining to a friend why I would spend my evening staring at dots is a bit challenging. 
"They're *bleeping* dots, what's the big deal?"
I was at a loss. At the time, all I knew about the famous "Spot Paintings" by Damien Hirst was exactly that. They were just effin dots. In some cases, million dollar dots. I rushed over to the Gagosian Gallery to investigate. I needed to find out what was so special about these paintings and why on earth anyone would spend fortunes on something that you can't drive, wear or experience. Even as a Hirst fan, I needed to be able to answer with something more substantial than "it's ART".

Follow the dots inside to see more from my night at the museum for the opening of the "Complete Spot Paintings Collection 1986-2011".

Friend: I mean seriously, its a giant Twister board. Are they really that big of a deal? 
Me: Well, all eleven Gagosian Gallery locations, including those in Paris, Rome, Geneva, London, Athens, Hong Kong and New York held simultaneous exhibits of the Spot Paintings, so yeah, I'm assuming that its kinda like a big deal.

Friend: Wait, there are multiple spot paintings?
Me: Try HUNDREDS. There's well over 1500 spot paintings worldwide.
Friend: That still doesn't explain why anyone would find this remotely interesting, let alone call it art.
Me: I never thought the Mona Lisa was all that fascinating, but its art. I honestly think with these spot paintings the art is in the details. Not so much the dots themselves, but that's just my opinion. 

Friend: Again, they're just dots....WHAT DETAILS??  
Me: For starters, the things are pretty damn perfect. After close inspection (and a few side-eyes from the museum security) I was able to see just how beautifully executed they are. The dots are perfect in diameter and spaced apart strategically on each piece. I also noticed how you never see any clusters of too much blue or red or any color in one area. They're perfectly random.

Friend: So???
Me: SO, there's one painting that has 25,781 dots and not one of them is that same color. Lets not forget, these things are not printed. Someone had to sit there and paint each one of them and they are perfect. That's pretty impressive. 

 (Jason tweeting about the dots @JasonofBH)
Friend: I guess. How much are these things going for?
Me: One of them sold for 3.48 million back in '98.
Friend: GTFOH...
Me: That's what I said.
Friend: Well was it worth the trip?
Me: Sure. They're actually pretty cool once you see them in real life. Some of them are enormous! I'd love to own one just to say I had one, but would I personally pay for one? Not a chance. ~vK

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