Damien Hirst Style Paintings

This page provides links to several virtual paintings. The imagery is almost completely limited to spots - colored circles - arranged in different ways, that are then labeled with a city name. (One for each location of a Gagosian Gallery.) The colors are random. For all but the Hong Kong painting each page load produces a new painting.

So pick a painting from the list of cities to the right. The name links to nearly limitless paintings. Certainly, there are more random combinations that I would have the patience to view. Park your cursor on the refresh button, and click it for a new painting. Feel free to enjoy the works in each gallery as long as you like, and realize that I've not included any navigation to mar your experience. Hit your back button to come back to this homepage, when you'd like to visit another place.

Why make Spot Paintings?

For more than 25 years Damien Hirst has been making spot paintings, and, as I write this, they are on view at the 11 Gagosian galleries worldwide. Hirst and Gagosian put out a challenge to anyone who could see all the shows. The time period is January 12 to March 17, 2012, although each gallery - from Hong Kong, Europe, New York and Beverly Hills - has a different schedule. I knew I couldn't meet the challenge, and get the signed print that is offered as a reward for completion. This challenge prompted me to make the Incompletable Spot Paintings.

These may lack the physicality of paint on canvas, but the variations of color that can be made in a given time are much greater. The viewing is more democratic - anyone with a computer and a modern browser can view them. (If you can't please try viewing with Firefox, Opera, IE9 or Chrome because these works are created with HTML5, which is not supported by many early browsers.)

How did I make Spot Paintings?

My first attempt at spot making, my painting called Hong Kong, is built with SVG and I had to choose the 8-digit hex color of each dot. I'd read, and can see from images on line, that Damien Hirst doesn't repeat a color, and with numbered colors it's pretty easy not to repeat. But I wanted to write code that would give me more paintings, quicker. Hirst came to this conclusion, too. He painted some of the Spot Paintings, but doesn't personally paint every spot, or any on some. He hires people to work for him as many artists have done since Andy Warhol and his Factory. So, the paintings are not about the technique of painting, or precious emotion leaving the hand of the superstar artist. My series, instead, sets up opportunities for something to happen that is visually interesting.

For the second in my series, Athens, I let some sleek javaScript randomize the colors. You get a whole show, not just one static image. Next I added more rows of spots, changed the spot's size and the negative space. Then, added some other constraints suggested to me by what I could see on the web of Damien Hirst's Spot Paintings, and questions that came to me from viewing the finished work.

Hope you enjoy them. If you'd like to comment, my name is Terry, and I'd be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to visit the blog for this project at: unsafeart.com/Spots.