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Damien Hirst, Liberty, 2002. Courtesy of DTR Modern Galleries.

Damien Hirst: Spin Paintings

Damien Hirst first discovered spin paintings when he was nine years old. In 1975, he became transfixed by an episode of the children’s television show Blue Peter, featuring the television host John Noakes creating colorful paintings from a motorized cardboard spinning machine. Inspired by this childhood memory, Hirst began experimenting with the spin technique in earnest in 1992, the same year he was nominated for Britain’s prestigious Turner Prize. “Every time they’re finished, I’m desperate to do another one,” he once said of his spin paintings. For Hirst, the chaotic, circular movement of these works represent life itself, and the accessibility of the spin painting technique showed that anyone can be an artist. The late rock legend David Bowie famously came to Hirst’s studio to collaborate on a spin painting in 1995.

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