There’s something about “Britain’s richest living artist” that bothers me. It’s nothing to do with his obsession with death. Nor is it that a lot of his art is produced by his assistants (that system worked just fine for Andy Warhol). The problem I have is that I’m not sure if the work lives up to the name anymore. He shook up the art world back in the early nineties with pickled sharks and the like but has the name Damien Hirst now become more influential than the art itself?
A small selection of Hirst’s work spanning his entire career is now on show at Leeds Art Gallery. Whilst some of the work is striking and clever, like The Anatomy Of An Angel (pictured here) and The Explosion, a stunning stained glass window made of butterflies, other pieces left me as cold as the dead things they represented. And judging from the speed in which people entered, wandered and left I don’t think I’m alone.
The Damien Hirst exhibition is on until the end of October. It’s free, and the café does a great fudge brownie.