The Art of Burning Paintings

Damien Hirst has begun burning thousands of his own paintings, hoping that by showing the results on social media he can generate enough interest to make a film out of them.

On 4 June, the artist posted a video of himself burning his most recent works on Instagram. “I’m actually creating a film using this set up right here,” he said, pointing to his laptop near a pile of canvas. “I’m hoping to film that and then go and make a film from the paintings so that I can show everyone how to do it properly.”

Some viewers were happy to see that burning paintings had become a thing, while others were unhappy about it. “Disgusting,” one wrote. “I’m disappointed in your use of the internet to make millions of money. Maybe you should focus on other things because you are not good at what you do.” Another called it “extremely ugly” and said Hirst’s artwork was “a bit too much for a young person.”

But a few people were pleased by the whole thing. There were “so many cool cats doing similar things” and pointed out that painting, as all art is, is a creative act and that people should be encouraged to be creative. “Be great at what you do, whatever it is, and don’t spend all your time thinking about it. Enjoy watching how much fun you have while working on it.”

Another said it was “sad that you are selling these paintings and making money off someone else’s artwork, but it’s cool that you are making a new one in the process. Your art is very unique and I thought you should sell it because you have something special.”

Hirst’s work has been sold at auction, but he says that he can’t afford to pay the thousands of pounds that it can cost to get a work of art into the art world. “I don’t need millions,” he told The Independent. “I don’t

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