Figurehead for the YBA generation with a production line in spot, spin and butterfly paintings and a sideline in collecting and publishing
In the sense that there’ve been no newspaper hogging auctions or switches of direction, Damien Hirst has had a relatively unassuming year. Which means numerous exhibitions: at L&M Arts in New York, Gagosian in New York, Galería Hilario Galguera in New Mexico and Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum. This last retrospective not only found Hirst partying with Albert II, the principality’s crown prince; it also included spot, spin and butterfly paintings, all series which, he announced at the Gagosian show (entitled End of an Era), he would no longer be producing.
This may to some extent slow the shrinking of Hirst’s market – down by 93 percent last year and bound to be lower this annum – and allay the artist’s detractors, who in August reiterated and expanded on accusations of plagiarism. A charge Hirst branded ‘gibberish’. Still, Hirst isn’t one for cooling his heels. His Murderme art collection grows apace, his Other Criteria publishing wing and retail outlets continue to turn out books, sell multiples and support exhibitions – and he’s rumoured to have a longterm gig booked in: a Tate retrospective to coincide with London's 2012 Olympics.