Hirst, you’ll recall, recently exhibited more than 300 canvases consisting solely of polka dots (which by and large someone else painted) in every Gagosian Gallery on earth. The cognoscenti promptly dismissed the shows as a stunt–the fiercely unoriginal idea of a guy willing to make bad paintings just to sneer at the art world and profit off it in the same breath. (Hirst’s spot paintings have sold for as much as $3.48 million.) Christian Viveros-Faune over at the Village Voice had one of the gentler takes: The work is “swinishly speculative, grossly cynical, intellectually constipated… rehashed expensive crap.”
Enter Hargreaves with his M&M photo series unblushingly called, “Can I also get a show at the Gagosian?” “I have always been fascinated by this guy’s work and that border of what is and isn’t considered ‘Art,’” Hargreaves says. “I decided to recreate some of his dot paintings made from M&M’s. At a distance they look just like his works but at closer inspection the iconic ‘M’ is visible on each dot.”
So let’s get this straight: Hargreaves has recycled paintings that themselves recycle ideas from other paintings (namely ’60s Minimalist and Conceptual Art) to make a joke and raise his own profile. I might be mistaken, but I think Hargreaves just out-Damien Hirsted Damien Hirst.
[Images courtesy of Henry Hargreaves]