The Scream of the Butterfly
Superstition is the title of Hirst’s collection of butterfly wing craftwork. The Gagosian Gallery press release states that the artist "expands on the iconic motif of the butterfly as a symbol of the beauty and inherent fragility of life, reaching new heights of complexity, refined detail and radiance.(….) Hirst creates paintings whose classical shapes and compositions take their inspiration from stained glass church windows." That’s an impressive public relations pitch - especially for objects that are not paintings. Hopeless followers of fashion who are easily wowed, like the gaggle of voguish trendies over at L.A.’s SuperTouch web log, burble effusively over the arrival of Hirst, "Assembled by Hirst and a team of tireless assistants, the works are truly a wonder to behold & certain to distress animal lovers everywhere (expect PETA to attend)." Aside from the obvious fact that art reviews should not be written by those who think butterflies are animals, let’s not kid ourselves about the taste of those who promote, or see worth in, the utterly inane, vacant, and exploitative works of a quack like Hirst.
In an article published in the New Republic and titled, What money is doing to art, or how the art world lost its mind: Laissez-Faire Aesthetics, art critic Jed Perl put his finger on the problem regarding the likes of Hirst and Gagosian Gallery, when he wrote:
"A great shift has occurred. This has deep and complex origins; but when you come right down to it, the attitude is almost astonishingly easy to grasp. We have entered the age of laissez-faire aesthetics. The people who are buying and selling the most highly priced contemporary art right now - think of them as the laissez-faire aesthetes - believe that any experience that anyone can have with a work of art is equal to any other. (….) The big galleries don't do shows anymore, they do coronations and requiems. Larry Gagosian has perfected this style. (….) - the corruption is almost unbearable."
Seeing as how the average Hirst butterfly wing collage has a starting price of around half a million dollars, most art collectors not in the billionaires club may become a little discouraged, but don’t worry - you can still afford your own butterfly wing painting! By cutting out the middleman - the useless good-for-nothing otherwise known as the "blue-chip artist" - you can purchase, for only $1,500, a beautiful framed piece directly from the craftpersons who constructed it. The good people at www.butterfly-gifts.com, construct butterfly wing paintings in abstract geometric shapes, and in sizes up to 48 by 32 inches - and all of the wings come from "non-endangered butterflies that are raised on Butterfly Farms in rainforest areas of South and Central America" - a guarantee not being made by Hirst and Gagosian Gallery.