Macho Myth of the Genius Artist

The "Macho Myth of the Genius Artist" is alive and well and being practiced by one of the top artists in the world, Damien Hirst. Just when people have the silly idea that "the end of the macho myth of the genius artist, working alone, stricken with inspiration from the heavens above" is upon us in 2009 (even after all of recorded history makes a strong case against such nonsense), along comes macho Mr. Hirst painting alone, in a shack in his backyard.

Of course there are people out there who do good work in a collaborative situation, but there are and always have been lone individuals that are yes, geniuses. Why try and say otherwise?

Here is a great article by Sarah Thornton writing for the AP. She says "Hirst is now painting pictures; he’s actually applying oil to canvas with his own hand." And here she describes his new studio. "t’s a nostalgic fantasy of a bohemian painter’s shack. The wooden facade is covered in drips of turquoise and splashes of black. Inside, it’s dark, crowded and garret-like, with exposed rafters and bare light bulbs, reminiscent of Bacon’s studio."

Above, "Human skull in space" (oil on canvas) by Damien Hirst, for the 150th anniversary edition of Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Copyright: Damien Hirst 2009.