Saturday, April 4, 2020

Damien Hirst Threatens 16-year-old Artist With Lawsuit

Damien Hirst, arguably an appropriationist king himself, threatened a 16 year-old artist with a lawsuit unless the young artist stopped using Hirst’s diamond-studded skull image first. According to The Independent, Cartrain (the young artist’s moniker), “was surprised to learn Hirst had not only seen the work but also contacted the Design and Artists Copyright Society (Dacs), who apparently informed the young artist he had infringed Hirst’s copyright. The older man [Hirst] has reportedly demanded that Cartrain not only remove the works from sale but ;’deliver up’ originals, along with any profit made on those sold, or face legal action.”


(Image courtesy of The Independent)

What exactly did Cartrain do? According to The Independent:

He made a series of collages using photographs of Hirst’s skull, some of which imposed the bejewelled sculpture over the faces of figures taken from other photographs. One showed the skull in a shopping basket alongside some carrots. The images were displayed in the online gallery,, where Cartrain’s collages sell for £65, on average.

The irony?

Hirst’s complaint was seen as ironic by some in the art world, given the controversy surrounding the provenance of his skull. Three weeks after the artist unveiled the £50m sculpture, another artist, John LeKay, claimed he had been producing similar jewel-encrusted skulls since 1993.

Full story here.


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