“I want it to be revealing. I’ll talk about anything you like. I want it to be truthful. Let’s do it. There is no off-limits. I’m afraid of nothing.’
Immediately recognised as a young artist with a brilliant, sordid and uncompromising imagination, Damien Hirst is the most celebrated British artist of recent generations. Gordon Burn met Hirst for the first time over ten years ago. Both admirers of David Sylvester’s interviews with Francis Bacon and Jan Wenner’s with John Lennon, there was always an unspoken understanding between them that they would do something similar when the time was right. The resulting conversations in On the Way to Work are superbly candid. True to the undertaking Hirst gave Burn, there is no off-limits: here are Hirst’s thoughts on celebrity, money, art, alcohol, sex, death, the North of England, crime, class and cocaine; his views on Marco Pierre White, Charles Saatchi, David Bowie, Gilbert and George and Lucian Freud.
Damien Hirst’s art and life came to define the ‘90s. Like the generation Hirst has come to represent, On the Way to Work is brave, unpredictable, scabrously funny and corrosively intelligent. It is also a how-to guide to becoming the most famous artist in the world.
Gordon Burn (1948-2009) is the author of four novels, Alma Cogan (winner of the Whitbread First Novel Prize); Fullalove; The North of England Home Service and Born Yesterday. He is also the author of the non-fiction titles Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son; Pocket Money, Happy Like Murderers; On The Way to Work (with Damien Hirst) and Best and Edwards.