Damien Hirst, father of some children.
I have a story about Damien Hirst.
In 1986, fresh off the National Express coach, I went to enrol at Goldsmiths’ College. I entered a large hall filled with tables. Each table had a ‘subject’ sign above it, and a queue of students waiting to enroll on their chosen course. The table labelled ‘ART’ had no queue, and the admin person had gone AWOL. I stood at the table, and waited. A few seconds later someone came and stood behind me. He tapped me on the shoulder and asked if this was ‘Art’. The sign was huge. I told him it was, and turned away. He tapped me on the shoulder again and told me he liked my jacket. I thanked him, as I looked down my nose in a snooty fashion, and turned away again. Actually, that was a great jacket, I made it myself, wish I still had it. It was made from denim scraps. I had sewn daisies onto it. Next, Shoulder-Tapper went behind the table, climbed onto a wheeled-blackboard and proceeded to ride around the room. I vowed to keep away from this prat. It was Hirst, Turner-Prize-Winning-Sunday-Times-Rich-List, Hirst. No prat.
A few years ago, I was at work, (I have mentioned my zero-hours-living-wage job before, the one where I wander around a big not-to-be-named-for-fear-of-stalkers London gallery) and in front of me was the Jonathan Yeo portrait of Damien. It’s a great portrait. Massive. It puts you in mind of Henry VIII on his throne. Many came to pay homage. Not looking down your nose at me now are you? That’s what he was saying. And indeed, I was not.
This is the tenth square in my patchwork of dads. It is made from discarded books, magazines, postcards and junk mail. It is made from the actual papers, I have not printed or copied anything. There are sixteen squares in total. You can see the whole piece here.
I cut the square from a postcard I bought from the Tate years ago. I was going to sew some abuse onto it, but never did. In the end, if anyone from my year were to succeed, I’m glad it was him. He wasn’t bothered about being cool. The photograph was taken in 1999 by Steve Pyke.
All of my work is individually numbered, this piece is 798. It can be found in my shop.