Damien Hirst responds to his critics

Damien Hirst responds to his critics

for DAMIEN HIRST*

“You’ve backed me into a corner,”
I said, by way of trying to warn her.
I’m in talks with an oligarch:
We meet in Mayfair, after dark;
He says I’m the man to make him feel royal,
And that I am to art what he is to oil.

I never stole from John LeKay.
How do you define “stealing”, anyway?
There’s no shame in taking notions
And then giving them promotions.
Germaine Greer says my rationale’s threadbare,
But my brand, even she concedes, is beyond compare.

They all cite the value of my art as a sum,
Therefore the art of value is what it’s become.
Only by emptying the mind does the heart grow full:
Which one of you will buy my diamond skull?

The papers cry vulgarity:
They don’t give me the slightest charity.
There’s an African dictator
I’m meeting for coffee later:
He’ll want to know the stones are ethically sourced;
He’ll need to know that the message wasn’t forced.

If I take money to death’s door
Then what was all that dying even for?
There’s no harm in taking payment
From a benefaction claimant.
Send the editors the news that 50 Cent
Is this close to putting down a downpayment.

I wanted to make something beautiful for once.
The production of this piece took me many months.
You can call me crass, but don’t ever call me dull,
Because I made a diamond-studded human skull.

It struck me that the price of fifty million quid
Was too big a bargain for me to leave unbid.
I called a few friends and over it they did mull
Till they agreed to help me buy my diamond skull.

* The unknown Slovenian artist Damien Hirst; not to be confused with
the British artist of the same name.

Appears in:
Mistaken for art or rubbish [2013]

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