Hennessy Youngman Brews Damien Hirst Take-Down


Just in time for the rollout of “Hirst à Gogo,” as Roberta Smith dubbed it in today’s New York Times, another art-world muckety-muck has weighed in on the Damien Hirst “Spot Painting” extravaganza taking place at all 11 Gagosian venues worldwide. Hennessy Youngman’s latest “Art Thoughtz” video addresses the spot-tacular.

The review is less effusive than Smiths’s. “A perfect storm of banality,” he calls it.

More specifically, Youngman weighs in on Hirst’s PR photos, in which the British phenom strikes poses and makes faces. “Shark face!” says Youngman, showing a photo of Hirst, mouth agape, in front of his famed Great White in formaldehyde. The hashtag #sharkface has quickly become popular on Twitter.

The grandstanding photos come in for Youngman’s harshest critique, displaying what he calls an “IROC-Z, Axe-Body-Spray level of douchery.” But he also critiques the corporate nature of Hirst’s enterprise, showing a clip from an interview in which Hirst affirms that his diamond skull piece was inspired by money. “Yes, Internet,” Youngman sadly confirms, “he just said that money is his medium.”

The theme music for the latest installment? Rapper Jim Jones’s 2006 hit “We Fly High,” and its refrain: “Ballin’.”

The video is a return to form for the self-proclaimed “row-house raconteur” after a panned lecture at Art Basel Miami Beach.