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Damien Hirst: What have I done? Ive created


a monster

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Damien Hirst discusses his new exhibition space in south London and tells how curation
has affected his career
uring the period he refers to as his glory years, Damien Hirst[1] had a favourite gag. He
would pull his foreskin through a hole in his pocket, then exclaim in mock alarm:
Whats that? People would go, Youve got some chewing gum on your trousers. They
would touch it and go, What the fuck? he said, smirking. He played this trick on
drinking buddies and he played it on complete strangers. He particularly enjoyed
targeting self-important art world types. Hirst recently turned 50, and these days he
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appears to be almost fully house-trained. He still has the swagger, leather jacket and Tshirt wardrobe of a rock star, and his mobile phone is loaded with eye-poppingly deviant
film clips that he collects for his amusement and often shares; but he also now does yoga
three times a week, and stopped flashing when he gave up drink and drugs almost nine
years ago.
Britains most famous living artist continues to stir controversy, although he is more
likely to be excoriated for the failings[2] of the national culture[3] than lauded as a
national treasure. Guardians of real art and highbrow defenders of the avant garde
routinely nestle together under the same duvet, shocked not so much by the paintings
and sculptures and installations he churns out at an extraordinary rate as by his refusal
to accept that the time has come to keep his creations, like his penis, decently out of
sight.

Damien Hirst set back art by 100 years, says


Henry Moore's daughter
Read more
But its worth taking note of what Hirst does because he is an agent of change. He has
always been entrepreneurial, prolific and populist qualities that, in tandem with his
practice of employing technicians to realise the bulk of his output, challenge ideas about
authenticity. And his latest venture may prove the most startling thing he has ever done.
In April, the floor of his office at the Marylebone headquarters of his company, Science
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Ltd, was strewn with models of a gallery, each hung with tiny replicas Francis Bacons,
John Bellanys, Andy Warhols, Banksys like toys for a super-rich kid which, in a way,
they were. Hirst looked down on the world he was creating and played with its
possibilities. He was excited, talking fast, grizzled but boyish in his enthusiasms. He has
a face that can move from cherubic to demonic and back again when he is at his most
animated, and this project has obsessed him for years. He was plotting a series of
exhibitions at the Newport Street Gallery[4] in Lambeth, south London. He has spent
25m to build the facility, where he will curate exhibitions assembled from his own art
collection. For the gallerys opening show this September, he has chosen the British
abstract painter John Hoyland[5], a prodigious talent who never quite enjoyed the
recognition he expected or deserved.
It was Hoyland who, in 1997, sounded a rallying cry against the so-called Young British
Artists, and Hirst in particular objecting furiously when the Royal Academy announced
plans to put on Sensation[6], an exhibition of works from Charles Saatchis collection of
YBA pieces. Artists should not farm their work out[7], he said. I hear that [Hirst] has
lots of people working on his spin paintings. I cant see how you can have humanity in
your work if you do that. Art is a seismograph of the human being. You have to be handson.
Like the target of his complaint, Hoyland once appeared transgressive, bright and
acerbic. He was the youngest participant in Situation[8], an exhibition of abstract
paintings by British artists that flustered the art establishment in 1960. Hoyland got his
own solo turn at the Whitechapel Gallery seven years later, but by the time of Sensation,
his star had been eclipsed by conceptual and pop artists.
Now Hirst, too, has reached an uncomfortable stage in his career, embedded in the
establishment he once goaded. On past performance, he might be expected to try even
harder to shock, to prove his relevance. Instead, by founding Newport Street, he is doing
something far more likely to shore up his status and secure his legacy. In promoting his
own view of contemporary art through the medium of a big, public gallery, he is testing
his power to shape tastes and markets, and his ability to exert control.
Curating was Hirsts first talent, and his most consistent. The shows he put on at the
start of his career managed to generate a level of excitement not always matched by
acclaim for his work. In 1988, he reset the course of British art with the exhibition
Freeze[9], held in an empty Port Authority warehouse in Londons Docklands. The threechromeextension://iooicodkiihhpojmmeghjclgihfjdjhj/front/in_isolation/reformat.html

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part show helped to launch Hirsts friends and contemporaries, including Mat
Collishaw[10], Angus Fairhurst[11], Anya Gallaccio[12], Gary Hume[13], Michael Landy[14],
Abigail Lane[15], Sarah Lucas[16] and Fiona Rae[17]. In the push to find a warehouse
space, assemble the artists and install their pieces, Hirst left himself little time to focus
on his own work, dashing off 81 small boxes, which he then positioned so high that many
visitors missed them altogether. He also painted his first spot paintings, straight on to a
wall. Collectors and galleries nosed around many of the other participants, but not Hirst.

A clip from a 1994 BBC documentary about Damien Hirst and the Freeze exhibition
More than a quarter of a century later, he is seeking to reconcile the conflicts his
intervention set in train, in art and in his own life, by returning to curating. One outcome
may be more controversy over the impact of Newport Street on a rare pocket of inner
London that has largely resisted gentrification, and about his motivations in establishing
the new, free-to-enter gallery. His apparent generosity is likely to be balanced by the
increased value of the art shown there, which he of course owns. But to assume that
Hirsts greatest driver is money is to overlook his passion for art, and his compulsion to
collect it.
Hirst bought from his contemporaries before he could afford it or they had made much of
a mark, and it wasnt just with a view to a profit; he kept much of what he acquired. Fiona
Rae remembers Hirst, as an impoverished undergraduate in the late 1980s, forming a
consortium with two other people to buy three of her paintings for 1,000. That felt like
a fortune in those days, she said in May, sitting amid a solo show of her latest work[18]
at the Timothy Taylor Gallery in Mayfair.

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Young British Artists at play in the 1990s in


pictures
View gallery
Hirst was born in Bristol and brought up in Leeds, and his home life was reasonably
comfortable until the breakdown of his mothers marriage to his stepfather, a mechanic,
when he was 12. The disruption to Hirsts home life triggered a short career in petty
crime. I went into the art lesson once at school, and the police were there doing
fingerprints on the windows, because Id broken in the night before and nicked stuff
paper, pens, pencils, all that kind of stuff and I remember thinking: Fuck, I didnt wear
gloves. Soon after that he moved to London, aiming for art college, and was accused of
carrying out a chequebook fraud with a friend. I got a criminal record for burglary and
shoplifting, and that was the final straw. Id have probably got two years or something.
He went to Brixton, and did like three months, and it was his first offence. I just kept
denying it, and I went to court three times, denied it, and eventually they dropped the
charges against me and I was like: Thank fuck. And then after that I didnt do anything
bad again. A few months later, he started at Goldsmiths[19].
Even then, his vision was expansive. He favoured industrial buildings for exhibiting over
typically cramped British galleries. Museums, he believed, were only interested in artists
who were dead. He didnt wait for permission from institutions, says Iwona Blazwick,
director of the Whitechapel Gallery, who in 1991 put on Hirsts solo show, Internal
Affairs[20], at the ICA. Hirst had learned some of his tricks from an early advocate,
Charles Saatchi. The advertising magnate opened a gallery in a disused paint factory on
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Boundary Road in St Johns Wood in west London, in 1985, to display his private
collection. Hirst and his friends visited, to share in Saatchis passion for American artists
including Carl Andre[21], Donald Judd[22], Frank Stella[23] and Cy Twombly[24], then
reaped the benefits after Saatchi came to Freeze and started buying and showing lifechanging quantities of their own work. Saatchi put up the 50,000 for Hirst to
manufacture his first shark suspended in formaldehyde, titled The Physical Impossibility
of Death in the Mind of Someone Living[25], in 1991, and for a decade Hirst and Saatchi
enjoyed a symbiotic relationship, each boosting the others reputation. Then came a
rupture that has never fully healed. He only recognises art with his wallet[26], Hirst said
after Saatchi offloaded most of his Hirsts in a move that not only offended the artist but
threatened to depress the market for his work. A US hedge-fund billionaire called Steven
Cohen[27] bought the shark.

Damien Hirst with Charles Saatchi in 1997. Photograph: Richard Young/Rex


Hirst wont go into the details of the feud, but says the relationship has improved; they
are not in regular touch, but Saatchi has agreed to speak to James Fox, the writer helping
Hirst with his autobiography. (Last year Hirst signed a deal for the memoir[28] with
Penguin, reportedly for a six-figure sum.) After his rackety childhood, Hirsts
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relationship with Saatchi appears to have something of a father-son dynamic: a closeness


followed by a breach, and then a rapprochement on changed terms; rebellion and
imitation.
Ive always wanted a gallery like Saatchi, the original Boundary Road, said Hirst, gazing
out across London from a balcony high on the facade of Newport Street Gallery. With
3,438 sq m rendered by architects Caruso St John[29] into six exhibition spaces, offices,
store rooms, a shop and a restaurant, Newport Street is bigger than Boundary Road. Hirst
is overseeing every detail of this universe, down to the restaurant menus. There is no
place for a big-name chef. All chefs are cunts, Hirst declared, like artists.
Theres a walk-in refrigerator at Chalford Place, the home Hirst sometimes uses
when hes working at the older and smaller of his two Gloucestershire studio complexes.
In this context, the fridge seems sinister, yawning emptily, but big enough for corpses.
Chalford Place[30] is one of its owners most fascinating creations; unseen and still
unfinished, an immersive Disneyland of death. Potato famine-era gravestones (imported
from an Irish salvage company) line the floors and showers, the wood panelling is
decorated with skeletons and butterflies, and the handles on a chest of drawers are casts
of vertebrae. A funereal ground-floor bedroom is encrusted, floors and ceiling, with
amethyst. The books in the bookshelves are united by one feature: they all have the word
death in the title. Everywhere there are skulls real, carved, stained-glass and painted.
Like much that Hirst produces indeed, like Hirst himself the house is a strange
mixture of the compelling and the banal. Death has been the preoccupation of much of
his work, but its often hard to tell whether hes engaging with the idea or diminishing its
power by turning it into a motif. His butterflies are drowning in paint. In his famous 1990
work A Thousand Years[31], flies breed in one half of a large glass cabinet; their dead
bodies drift ever deeper along the edges of the installation. And when For the Love of
God[32] Hirsts platinum skull studded with diamonds and baring human teeth came
on to the market in 2007, it took the breath away less as a memento mori than with its
supposed price tag of 50m. He was part of a consortium that bought the work, a
transaction that helped to maintain the market value of all his output.

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Damien Hirst is a national disgrace


Read more
People close to Hirst seem just as confused about what drives him as he is himself. Hes
a hooligan and aesthete, said Mat Collishaw. This is not a normal combination of
characteristics. His halting attempts to talk about hitting 50 convey a real anxiety. If
youre going to get hit by a bus on the way to chemo, you just dont know where [death]
is coming from, he said, sipping from a mug of redbush tea. Yoga and his healthy
lifestyle might help him to live longer, or just to die better. You lose your grip anyway.
You lose your grip before you die, I think thats the problem. So I guess its how to
embrace it in some way.
Hirst initially resisted the idea of an autobiography because he saw it as an end-of-life
activity. He is now embarked on the process, but publication isnt expected any time
soon. He has a lot on his plate as well as Newport Street, he has elaborate, if secret,
plans to unveil new work in 2017 and the process of reconstructing his past has also
been slowed by his own deficiencies as a witness to his own life. Hirst says Fox who
helped Keith Richards[33] to fill in the gaps in his memory that are the inevitable
consequence of a life in rocknroll has been plucking anecdotes gleaned from
interviews with other sources to prompt Hirst to remember his own past. But theres
something else a person who successfully obliterates whole segments of his life may find
difficult to recall: the reasons for doing so.
Collishaw advanced a plausible theory about what drew Hirst to art, which happens to
provide one reason why Hirst may have found drugs and alcohol so tempting: His mind
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is going a million miles an hour, and maybe the thing with the artwork is that its
something you just concentrate on for a few moments, and suddenly youre transported
into this other realm.
I deal with death in art, not in life. If you really think about death, it makes you
inactive
Hirst said he remembers gazing awestruck at a blue painting by John Hoyland in Leeds
City Art Gallery as a schoolboy. Little in his family background might have been expected
to tempt him into the gallery in the first place, but art seems to have brought him muchneeded moments of calm. Then it became the thing that ostensibly drove him faster.
During the boom years of the late 1990s and into the next decade, Hirst was in perpetual
motion. He expanded his studio system, started a publishing company, launched shops,
purchased a string of properties in the UK, Mexico and Thailand including a money pit
of a stately home in Gloucestershire called Toddington Manor[34] and still found time
to carouse. Such feverish activity looks like the behaviour of someone for whom fears of
mortality are visceral. Making skulls and hacking up dead cows kept death at a distance.
I deal with death in art, not in life, he said. Its like, in art, everything is a celebration.
Because if you really think about death, it makes you inactive. He added: For those 20
years, I was totally celebrating. And the work was celebrating. And it was like I was
immortal.
Then, by degrees, he wasnt. In place of the outgoing, expansive pleasure-seeker Rae
remembers from Goldsmiths very funny, always up for fun and doing outrageous
things, I couldnt keep up really. Youd get a phone call from Damien saying hes in a
skip, come and join him for a drink a sadder incarnation developed.
Drinking friends such as the musicians Joe Strummer[35] and Alex James, and the actor
Keith Allen, warned Hirst he had a problem. You get to a point at the end of it where
people just go, Ignore him, Hirst recalled, still clutching his redbush. I remember Joe
going: Ignore him. Hell go to bed. And youre just thinking: Why does that happen?
And you think: No! But you do know. Youre spitting at people because youre so drunk,
drooling, youre just unpleasant.

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Damien Hirst talks about For the Love of God
Despite several false starts, and without the help of a 12-step programme, he finally
cleaned up in 2006. His relationship with Maia Norman, the mother of his three children,
couldnt weather the transformation. Most recovering addicts face the daunting task of
taking greater responsibility for themselves; Hirst found himself at the apex of an empire
employing between 120 and 160 people at a high-water mark ahead of a 2012 Tate
retrospective[36] of his work, staff numbers soared to 250 with many more businesses
in some way dependent on his continued high rate of output. You have to keep this
fucking thing, this machine, going, says Hirsts friend, the artist and writer Danny
Moynihan. He seems to wear it quite lightly and everything continues, but its a
machine.
The machine used to be dirty, a scraggle of improvised studio spaces. There was one
under railway arches that everyone, including Hirst, referred to as the pill mines, a
sweat shop albeit one offering decent wages of recent art graduates fashioning the
pills to place in his medicine cabinets, or fulfilling similarly fiddly and repetitive jobs to
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create some of the other Hirst products. Sanding down pills, day in, day out, Hirst said.
Funny when you go to your own studio and feel guilty. Thats why I used to lay on these
huge parties. I remember feeling guilty for those people. What have I done? Ive created a
monster. Back to the pub.
The majority of Hirsts studio employees now toil in the pristine, high-security confines
of a vast complex[37] at Dudbridge in Gloucestershire. Hirst said he drew inspiration from
Andy Warhols Factory[38], but if Warhols studio was part production line, part salon,
Hirsts main studio is all about industry.
On a chill spring day, everyone wore matching Science Ltd T-shirts, wordless and
focused, the silence punctured by the scrape of a chair on concrete and rock music,
played not as Hirst would listen to it, but quietly in the background. Different sections of
the studio are dedicated to different strands of art carrying the Hirst imprimatur: the
butterflies; paintings mixing up corporate logos with political emblems; landscapes
fashioned from razor blades; photorealist fact paintings of cancer cells; medicine
cabinets and vitrine works, including a series of skewered hearts that, unlike the original
2005 Kiss of Death[39], involve not real flesh but simulacra. A room designed to create
spin paintings stood idle, with buckets of paint lined up ready on a metal walkway above
a giant centrifuge.
Many of the workers are artists, but there are also technicians who know how to deploy
formaldehyde, for example. At one table six people added spots to the spot paintings that
in recent years have featured the tiniest spots visible to the naked eye.
Hirst visits the studio, sometimes several days in a row, at other times sporadically, to
check on progress. A former pill miner remembers Hirst as an avuncular presence at one
of Science Ltds legendary staff parties before he went to the toilet and returned to
launch an unprovoked verbal attack that was all the more startling for his previous
friendliness. These days he is a more reliable boss. One Dudbridge employee said Hirst
has an attention to fine detail that can be demanding and that his involvement in the
work is intense but he is courteous. Staff turnover is low, and many people have been
with him for years. There have been two serious attempts to shrink the roster, sparked
partly by worries over cash flow[40] but also, said Jude Tyrrell, a director at Science Ltd,
because of Hirsts yen for long-lost simplicity. Weve definitely had a few moments
where its just been so stressful that you just think, God, can we go back to what it was?
Its that sense of losing the freedom, being increasingly corporate. She paused: The
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beast, the machine, I think we all feel a little bit encased by that.

Damien Hirsts The Kingdom, featuring a tiger shark in formaldehyde, at Sothebys


auction Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, in 2008. Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty
Images
Hirst did make a half-hearted break for freedom once. In 2008, he declared he would be
stopping the butterflies and spins[41]. This was just before he bypassed his galleries and
put up 223 new pieces of his work for sale at auction at Sothebys in Old Bond Street. The
two-day event earned him headlines and 111m[42]. Hirst claimed he wanted to
democratise the sale of art, but the stronger impulses behind the sale, titled Beautiful
Inside My Head Forever, seem to have been his desire to spark a new sensation and wrest
greater independence. The auction secured the former, but even its hefty payoff couldnt
buy his liberty. As the gavel fell, Lehman Brothers was collapsing, and though the global
crisis took a while to reach the wealthiest, collectors eventually became more cautious in
a market awash with Hirsts. Prices for his work, according to a 2013 ArtTactic report[43],
fell back to 2005/2006 levels.
So he geared up, not down, building Dudbridge and keeping the popular lines coming,
often as personalised commissions: birthday greetings spelled out in butterflies, portraits
of the wealthy expensively overlaid in centrifugal splatter. Science Ltd told the authors of
the ArtTactic report that the number of Hirsts in existence at that point stood at 6,000
paintings and sculptures, and 2,000 drawings. Hirst is compiling a list of everything he
has ever done.

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Beautiful Lying in the Grass Falling into the Sky, by Damien Hirst. Photograph: Science
Ltd
At one end of the Dudbridge building, in a galleried, double-height hangar, some of his
oldest vitrine works were back for inclusion in this catalogue or for repairs, under the
sightless gaze of The Virgin Mother[44], his 10-metre-high statue of a pregnant woman,
skin partially peeled back to reveal her internal organs in the style of an anatomical
teaching model on superhuman scale. The upper gallery was a holding area for his
newest work, still under wraps: a trove of sculptures in marble and bronze, many of them
apparently mottled with corals and barnacles, jewellery and artefacts, and photo-realist
paintings marking a departure from Hirsts blunter confrontations with mortality and
money.
Early reactions to this work have been mixed. Jay Jopling, his long-term gallerist,
suggested showing the work in small batches, sparking Hirst to think big instead. The
details of the coup de thtre Hirst envisages for 2017, like the pieces themselves, remain
shrouded.
Critics tore into the last exhibition of Hirsts new work[45] at the White Cube gallery in
London in 2012 which featured paintings made by Hirsts own hand that relied heavily
on ideas from painters he admires. He has always borrowed freely or, some would say,
filched. Hirst fields such allegations rather than ducking them. I remember seeing
Picassos bulls head made from a bike handlebars and seat, and thinking, Fuck, that is
brilliant, amazing to be that original, he said. And I thought thats what youve got to
do when youre an artist: youve got to come up with something like that. And then,
when I got to Goldsmiths, I realised that you dont need to do that. I remember just
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thinking: Steal everything. Because its all been done already. He insisted this does not
produce copies, but works of their specific time. The only advantage youve got is being
in the now, today. Once you say, Dont try and be original, just try and make art, then
you go, Fucking hell, I can make great art, because youve suddenly got the freedom
the same that advertisers have got to take from anywhere to communicate an idea.
At Goldsmiths, I realised you dont need to be original. I remember thinking: Steal
everything. Its all been done
British advertising blossomed in the decade ahead of the YBAs, and at the centre of both
phenomena was Charles Saatchi. His 1983 campaign for Silk Cut cigarettes, which
impressed Hirst, was inspired by[46] the Italian conceptual artist Lucio Fontana[47], who
slashed his canvases. I think the public in England is incredibly visually educated
because of the complexity of advertising in the last 30 years, Hirst told an interviewer in
2004. People are visually educated through being sold things. So they understand
everything.
Hirsts family residence is surprisingly like other homes of the wealthy in a cosseted
stretch of suburban south-west London: pocket-sized gym, small indoor pool and a
breakfast bar overlooking a neat lawn. He lives here with his sons, Connor, 20, Cassius,
15, and Cyrus, 9; their mother remains at the house the couple shared in Devon until
their 2012 split. A rumpled sleeping bag in Hirsts front hall adds to the impression of
domesticity, but it is a bronze by Gavin Turk[48].
Hirst pronounced that it was time to spin, leading the way to an open-plan kitchen and
dining room, and a table piled with colour, a feast of inks, marker pens and crayons. A
free-standing cube revealed itself as a machine for creating spin drawings smaller, less
messy siblings to spin paintings. Hirst fixed a piece of paper to a circular board housed
inside the cube to contain spatter, then depressed a foot pedal to spin the board while
adding pigments.
Watching a spin drawing in progress is like talking to its creator: simultaneously dizzying
and hypnotic. Anecdotes encircled fragments of anecdotes. Jokes bled into discussions of
mortality. A debate on the merits of the Rolling Stones versus the Beatles (Hirst is a
Beatles man) elicited vivid vignettes. They had this weird fucking Ukrainian morris
dancer, he said, recalling a bash hosted by Ukrainian oligarch and art collector Victor
Pinchuk[49], and they got me, Jay [Jopling] and Paul McCartney up doing this fucking
dance. The image was left hanging as Hirst jumped to another encounter with
McCartney, this time at an event hosted by Jopling, when McCartney performed magic
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tricks for Hirsts sons.

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Never let money get in the way of an idea: Damien Hirst walks through his Tate Modern
show in 2012
A different kind of sleight of hand drew Hirst to the Beatles, he said: their redemptive
ability to reinvent themselves. All my favourite artists from the past, the way they move
forwards is what interests me And the way they stop being one thing, like the Beatles
the way they totally reinvented themselves and changed into something else. He
riffled through a monograph on John Bellany, pointing out how the artists brushwork
and composition deteriorated as his alcoholism intensified, then admired a late-era
work. Look at that. Pissed as a fart, pissed out of his mind. But it works. You can see hes
taken months painting it. Hes having to lose it and get it back. And thats exciting.
Control, and its loss, remains an obsession for Hirst. Though praising the rewards of
sobriety (everything is better; even shagging), Hirst spoke fondly of his former life and
retains a soft spot for hellraisers, not least John Hoyland. Hoyland drank a lot and made
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big art, painting on as large a scale as US abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko[50]
and Barnett Newman[51] at a time when London galleries couldnt accommodate
canvases of that size. In other respects Hoyland appeared a kind of anti-Hirst, a purist
about his work and hopeless with money. He once turned down a commission to make a
painting for Coca-Colas London headquarters, Hoylands son Jeremy said, despite being
flat broke For very understandable reasons Coke felt there were certain things that
should be part of the work. And he couldnt do it, so he didnt.
Now Hirst is seeking to reassert Hoylands position. He started by befriending his onetime opponent. Jeremy Hoyland remembers a phone call from his father after the artists
first meeting: I think I might have underestimated [Hirst]. During the last years of
Hoylands life, Hirst supported the older man, setting up a standing order to buy his
paintings. The arrangement continued after Hoylands death, and is only now coming to
an end, providing a funding stream that has helped Hoylands widow, Beverley HeathHoyland, to manage the estate. Hirst owns more than enough Hoylands to stage Newport
Streets opening show.

Scando 2_10_80, by John Hoyland. Photograph: The John Hoyland Estate/Prudence


Cumming
Hoylands paintings are undoubtedly beautiful and, according to Hirst, cheap for what
they are. The exhibition is likely to boost interest in the artist, in turn raising the value
of Hirsts collection. But this was not a prime factor in the decision to give Hoyland the
first slot at Newport Street, Hirst said. I like the idea of pointing out in the art world
things that have not been seen or noticed. Another reason is that if there are any
problems with the space, I didnt want any big, complicated sculptures. For the first six
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months, its great to have a painting show, really simple. And then if you have airconditioning problems, or a leaky roof
Newport Street itself is likely to appreciate sharply as the gallery transforms the area.
Local planning and development bodies saw Hirsts arrival in Lambeth as cause for
rejoicing, but as affluent visitors begin streaming into the area and hipster coffee shops
displace businesses eking a living under the railway arches opposite the gallery, there has
been grumbling. Yet Hirsts aspiration appears not so much to deploy art as a tool of
gentrification, as to open his gallery and his collection as widely as possible. He was
always insistent that you must have free entry, said Collishaw. He wants people to have
the experience he did, when he had absolutely nothing but could walk into a gallery and
have this totally transformative experience.
Hirst is rediscovering the powers of a curator to draw outsiders into his vision, to
recreate the moment he first stood, rapt, in front of that blue Hoyland in Leeds. He has
run up against the limits of the control he can exercise over his own realities, but is
relishing the prospect of determining other peoples. This may, in the end, prove his
greatest talent.
Newport Street Gallery opens to the public on 8 October 2015 with John Hoyland: Power
Stations (Paintings 1964-1982). For updates follow @NPSGallery[52],
newportstreetgallery.com[53]
Follow the Long Read on Twitter: @gdnlongread[54]

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28. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/apr/08/damienhirst-penguin-autobiography-ghost-writer-morrissey
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are-they-which-side-are-on
50. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/may/13/tatemodern-rothko-black-on-maroon-restored
51. http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2013/may/16/barnettnewman-sublime-bargain-price
52. https://twitter.com/NPSGallery
53. http://www.newportstreetgallery.com/
54. https://twitter.com/gdnlongread

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