Damien Hirst, one of the most famous contemporary artists on the planet, is best known for installing dead sharks in glass vats of formaldehyde.
This makes it a surprise to find a large recent work by Hirst — who specializes in shocking his audiences — freshly installed at the relatively staid Cleveland Museum of Art.
Contemporary art curator Paola Morsiani arranged for the five-year loan of “Bringing Forth the Fruits of Righteousness From Darkness,” from 2008, a gigantic collage-painting made from the wings of thousands of butterflies.
Firstly, all of this awful Taxidermy should give a pretty big clue as to the level of Artistry actually being displayed (i.e. Craft, not Art), and secondly, the article fails to mention a rather important person in this Butterfly Wings story: Lori Precious.
Butterfly wings have been used in folk art since antiquity, of course, but the obvious similarities in form and use between Hirst and Precious hasn’t exactly been kept quiet. That this is a weak and not very interesting sort of mechanical collage (that Hirst doesn’t even do himself– his drones do the actual assembly) is irrelevant to the fact that this sort of plagiarism goes unnoted by the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Plain Dealer.