The chairs for this series of Spin chairs by Damien Hirst were specially commissioned from Jasper Morrison.
Hirst first became interested in the spin technique when he was a child, after seeing it used at a school fair. Then in 1992 he experimented at his studio in Brixton, London, producing ‘Beautiful Ray of Sunshine on a Rainy Day Painting and Beautiful Where Did All The Colour Go Painting’. The following year, he set up a spin art stall with fellow artist Angus Fairhurst at Joshua Compston’s artist led street fair, ‘A Féte Worse than Death’. Made up as clowns by performance artist Leigh Bowery, Fairhurst and Hirst invited visitors to pay £1 to create their own spin paintings to be signed by the pair, (and another £1 to drop their trousers and reveal their painted cocks and bollocks!)
While their chance spontaneity stands in contrast to the mechanistic character of the spot paintings, both series use the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter ‘who is always happy’. Each time this kind of work is made, the results rely simply on the choice and position of the colours as decided by the artist, and the motion created by the machine that controls the spin. For Hirst, that spinning movement ‘implies life’, producing paintings he describes as ‘childish… in the positive sense of the word’.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He first came to public attention in 1988 when he conceived and curated ‘Freeze’, an exhibition of his own work and that of his contemporaries at Goldsmiths college, staged in a disused London warehouse. Since this time Hirst has become widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Through a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing Hirst has sought to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Alongside over 80 solo exhibitions he has worked on numerous curatorial projects. In 2008, Hirst took the unprecedented step of bypassing gallery involvement in selling 244 new works at a Sotheby’s, London auction entitled ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’.
Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995 and his contribution to British art over the last two and a half decades has been acknowledged in a major solo retrospective exhibited at Tate Modern, London. He lives in Devon and has studios in Gloucester and London.
Text © Damien Hirst & Science Ltd., All rights reserved, 2012