Damien Hirst

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

One day in the summer of 2006 I found myself in London with a late flight to catch and a hangover to recover from and a big empty day ahead with no plans. I went through all the options, as you do – shopping, for example, or going on line, or staying in bed all day, or even walking along the Mall and sitting in St James’s Park with a newspaper over my face. All ideas seemed weary, stale and unprofitable until I looked up what was on, stopped feeling sorry for myself and went to the Gagosian Gallery in Britannia Street to look at work by Damien Hirst and Francis Bacon.

Christian Boltanski

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

The idea that, in the light of what has happened, a statue or a painting, or a piece of abstract sculpture, can no longer carry weight or actually matter, animate the work of Christian Boltanski. Boltanski seems to believe that there are enough objects in the world, and there is no point in making any more. He is haunted by death, by the death of each individual, by the death of aspects of ourselves – childhood, for example, and by the death of the idea that, in the absence of religion, science or reason will save us. His work is filled with palpable absences, a deep sense of grieving.

Bridget Riley

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Beauty. Subtlety. Repetition. Mystery. Delicacy.
Serious. Cerebral. Unchanging. Determined. Mesmerising.

Beuys

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

It is hard to know who to love, or who to stay with. It is clear that the government or the BBC or someone in authority should help. In the absence of this, a simple rule of thumb is to ask everyone six questions and then decide whether you love them or not.

Baselitz

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

Some painters have all the luck. They invent or stumble across a style or a signature gesture early in their careers and then spend their lives refining it and playing with it. They make their best paintings when they struggle most to avoid self-parody and attempt to surprise themselves. There is something almost brazen, for example, about the apparent sameness of Miro’s surreal squiggles, Francis Bacon’s figures, Cy Twombly’s hieroglyphics and Sean Scully’s squares. We must have been right the first time, they seem to be telling us.

Ron Arad

Published: 
Esquire Art 2007 - 2010

One of the great moments when the distinguished history of British snobbery met the limited world of British design was when Alan Clarke declared of Michael Heseltine that he was the sort of person who had bought his own furniture. Clarke, we presume, had inherited his stuff. For us mere mortals, however, there would be something creepy about living with furniture from our parents’ houses. Where did it all go – their old beds with head-boards, their chunky sideboards and patterned settees? It belongs with dandruff and guilt about sex and three television channels and EPs.