The first Spin Paintings were produced on rectangular canvases in the artist’s Brixton studio in 1992 and he playfully first introduced them to the public in 1993 when Hirst and Angus Fairhurst hosted a ‘Spin Art’ stall at a street fair in London. Dressed as clowns, as per the request of performance artist Leigh Bowery, Hirst and Fairhurst invited members of the public to create their own Spin Paintings. One year later, Hirst commissioned a scaled-up version of the same machine and started work on this now iconic series of paintings. By pouring a succession of different hues of household emulsion paint onto a rapidly rotating canvas, Hirst creates variegated surfaces of gravity-informed colour that bespeak the centrifugal energy of their execution. Emptied over the canvas in a manner akin to Jackson Pollock as captured in the iconic photographs by Hans Namuth, Hirst’s application of paint combined with the mechanical spin of the surface is undeniably performative in its vigour. This kinetic energy is recorded in the final painting, the movement of which, according the Hirst, “sort of implies life” (Ibid). Created in 2008-09 as a later iteration of this iconic series, the present work brilliantly encapsulates Hirst’s tongue-in-cheek attitude to art historical tradition through its method of production.
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