Spin Painting-Damien Hirst-1

Hirst first experimented with spin art in 1992 at his studio in Brixton, London. 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’. Dressed up as clowns by performance artist Leigh Bowery, Fairhurst and Hirst invited visitors to pay £1 to create their spin paintings to be signed by the pair. The spin paintings are characterized by the works’ elongated titles and their bright colors. The works are described by the artist as “childish … in the positive sense of the word”. Whilst the chance spontaneity of the spin paintings stands in stark contrast to the formulaic spot series, both explore the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter. The results of the spins are controlled purely by the artist’s color choices and the motion of the machine. In 1996, the exhibition No Sense of Absolute Corruption (Gagosian Gallery, New York) included spin paintings which rotated mechanically on the wall – Hirst’s response to being repeatedly asked which way up they should be installed. The rotating spins also provided a solution to Hirst’s feeling that the implied movement is essential to the success of the works, noting: “The moment they stop, they start to rot and stink.” The Spin Paintings series consists of 68 pieces, each of which is a unique exemplar.

“ I believe painting and all art should be ultimately uplifting for a viewer. I love color. I feel it inside me. It gives me a buzz. „

Damien Hirst