Naima Morelli

Don’t look at the Pictures: Damien Hirst at Rome Gagosian

“Don’t look at the pictures” could be the subtitles of the Demian’s Gagosian exhibition.

The antefact is that the January 12, will be Damien’s shows in the Gagosian Gallery worldwide. “Twenty five years of Spot Paintings” it’s the official title, and seems to be very serious, even knowing the brat who Damien is.
No corpses, no putrefaction, no flies… it could be a relaxing exhibition.

You certainly knew Damien’s spot painting. When you’ve seen one of them, you’ve seem them all. They look the same, just the size and the colour of the spots are different.
We are kindly informed by Gagosian staff that Catalogues “Hirst’s Complete Spot Painting 1986-2011”are available, just for wealthy collectors, with full color images and pages and pages of critic texts as well!
So, without reading the fundamental texts in the catalogue, let’s guess what these paintings mean.

Is that maybe the next provocation against the art’s system?
Oh Damien you childlike! In Napleswe exposed to the minimal artist Niele Toroni when you still sucked your mother’s milk. However no one knows Niele Toroni anymore, except his gallerist Alfonso Artriaco, so we can imagine you’ve done something new.

You know, since the roman branch of the Gagosian inc. have been open in the Eternal City, all the roman ladies started their wardrobe war. You can find the strangest outfits and the funniest people at Gagosian’s.

The most expected person is “The man with the feather”, an elegant gentlemen that socialize with people (especially young critic-curators like me and my friends, and this is suspect) thickling them with his beautiful, soft feather.

Last time I was so upset that he wasn’t there. Luckly his lack was filled by The Shoes Fetishist, that pictured with a rapid shot my decolletès and my fellow’s Converse.

It seems I’m shilly-shalling. Good Heavens! You are here to read of Hirst’s work, you’re actually not interested in my personal diary. Sorry, I can’t help it. I can’t deal with “The spot paintings” because the rule we’ve to strictly obey, is to not see the pictures.

Of course, some people break this simple principle, and stare at the measleas masterpiece instead of concentrating on people’s dresses and jackets. But if you remain more than a half minute to watch a pattern of coloured spots it’s unavoidable: you’re certainly seem stupid, pretentious too.
What hell you’re trying to do? To find some hidden meanings? To catch an ineffable feeling? The relationship between form and content? Or maybe the colours are beautiful?

No way, you’ve to take this show for what it is: just a simple money machine for Larry Gagosian’s benefit and, of course, an exquisite mundane event. No way, when Gagosian Gallery open, you’ve got to be there.

All the better for you, you’ll have a renewed occasion to speak ill of Damien Hirst. Well, try to understand Damien, here in Rome to be a real intellighenzia, we have to hate you as an assumption.

Naima Morelli 2012


Damien Hirst, The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011 January 12 – March 16, 2012

Gagosian Gallery, Via Francesco Crispi 16 00187 Rome


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