Damien Hirst: Spin Painting

This spin painting by the British artist Damien Hirst is titled Beautiful Untitled Seeing is Believing Doubting Thomas Don’t Doubt Me Believe Me Figures Don’t Lie Always Be By My Side Painting. It is from a series that the artist painted in 1994 — all of them distinguished by their long titles. The following year, Hirst won the prestigious Turner Prize. Hirst began experimenting with spin art in 1992. A couple years later, while living in Berlin, he had a spin machine made so he could create this series of paintings. He exhibited them the same year at Bruno Brunnet Contemporary Fine Arts in Berlin. The element chance of the spin paintings stands in stark contrast to Hirst’s other work, such as his formulaic spot paintings. But both series deal with the concept of mechanical intervention.

A leading figure in the Young British Artists movement in the late 1980s and 1990s, Hirst became controversial for his works consisting of dead animals, including a 14-foot-long shark preserved in formaldehyde and exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery and a bisected cow and her calf displayed in four vitrines filled with formaldehyde and exhibited at the 1993 Venice Biennale. Later, his works included a large series of “butterfly paintings,” featuring dynamic compositions created with actual butterflies. In 2007, he unveiled For the Love of God, a diamond-encrusted skull made of platinum valued at $100 million. Hirst continues to innovate, tackling big issues in unconventional ways, and exhibits around the world.