Eleven Facts About the Notorious Spot Paintings, Artlog
- Hirst has made an estimated 1,400 spot paintings since 1986.
- Gagosian’s The Complete Spot Paintings 1986–2011 contains over three hundred.
- Hirst himself has painted five.
- Hirst thinks those five are “shit.”
- Rachel Howard paints the best spot paintings: “The best person who ever painted spots for me was Rachel. She’s brilliant. Absolutely fucking brilliant. The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.”
- Hirst is still making spot paintings, despite announcing he would stop in 2008.
- Hirst threatened to sue British Airways for copyright infringement after the airline used colored spots in an advertisement.
- Tensions with longtime patron Charles Saatchi boiled over when Saatchi formally exhibited a spot-covered Mini Cooper that Hirst had painted for charity. Hirst does not list this retrospective on his CV.
- Hirst has made an editioned “paint by numbers” spot painting kit, containing a blank canvas, numbered dots, and numbered tins of paint. These unpainted spot paintings sell for more than the painted ones, and they generally remain unpainted.
- The earliest paintings in the Gagosian show are in the Madison Avenue location because that location has “more of an old-master feel.”
- An assistant once painted five yellow spots in a row. Hirst told him this was insufficiently random. “We had a big fight,” Hirst admits. “Now I realize he was right, and I was wrong.”