‘Damien Hirst stole my cherry blossom’: artist faces plagiarism claim number 16 | Damien Hirst

‘Damien Hirst stole my cherry blossom’: artist faces plagiarism claim number 16 | Damien Hirst

Over the a long time, Damien Hirst has confronted much more than one accusation of copying a person else’s perform, with artists variously boasting to have made his diamond cranium, his medication-cabinets and his spin-paintings just before he did. The a single-time enfant horrible of the British artwork earth has normally denied plagiarism, despite the fact that he did go as far as expressing in an interview in 2018 that “all my tips are stolen anyway”.

Now he is going through new allegations. His cherry blossom paintings in his latest exhibition, which has just shut in Paris, have prompted outrage from the English artist and author Joe Machine, who claims they glimpse just like his possess cherry blossom paintings.

“I saw Hirst’s cherry blossom paintings and, for a instant, I thought I was looking at my very own paintings,” Equipment told the Observer. “His [work] is so incredibly identical to mine. But I was carrying out my cherry blossom paintings several years just before his.” Even though acknowledging that Hirst’s paintings are not direct copies, he argued that “the incredibly dark branches, the powder-blue skies and the blotches of pink blossom” are too very similar to be a coincidence.

Right after a few years’ get the job done, Hirst finished his Cherry Blossom collection in November 2020 and the paintings will be exhibited in Japan from up coming thirty day period. Hirst has said that the exhibition’s topic matter was encouraged partly by a memory of his mother painting a cherry tree in blossom when he was three or 4.

But Charles Thomson, the artist and co-founder of the Stuckists, an global group campaigning for conventional artistry, did a double-choose when he very first noticed Hirst’s paintings: “I thought they were being Joe’s – and then I realised they were being Hirst’s. If men and women see Joe’s operate, they are heading to believe he’s copied Hirst.”

‘Damien Hirst stole my cherry blossom’: artist faces plagiarism claim number 16 | Damien Hirst
Final Blossoms of Spring, Joe Machine, 2011.

He added: “Joe has designed and exhibited cherry blossom paintings since 2006. Hirst’s, in a related model, have been began in 2017. The over-all visual appeal is identical – a structure of brown branches, vivid pink blossoms versus distinct blue sky. Both their paintings are not supposed to be botanical scientific studies, but use ‘splodges’ of paint to give an impact of blossom.”

Thomson has conducted comprehensive investigation into Hirst, who received the Turner prize in 1995 and created his identify with creations featuring useless sharks and cows. In 2010, Thomson described him as “a plagiarist in a way that would be absolutely unacceptable in science or literature”, obtaining printed a listing of 15 plagiarism claims by fellow artists in The Jackdaw art magazine. They bundled 1 from Lori Important, who organized butterfly wings into mandala designs just before Hirst. Her butterflies had marketed for £6,000 versus Hirst’s model for £4.7m.

In 2000, Hirst compensated an undisclosed sum to head off lawful motion for breach of copyright by the designer and makers of a £14.99 anatomical toy, which bore a resemblance to his 20ft bronze sculpture, Hymn.

Machine’s paintings have been revealed in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, between other venues, and he wonders regardless of whether Hirst observed his blossom paintings at the now-shut Tramshed, Shoreditch, the place Hirst’s pickled animals in a substantial vitrine, Cock and Bull, was a centrepiece.

Referring to Hirst’s admission to “stealing” other people’s tips, Equipment explained: “It’s not a joke to me. He may be ready to be flippant about it, but I do not steal other people’s work. I’m incensed.”

Equipment started portray cherry blossom as a reaction to his “criminal past”. “They’re a way of bringing magnificence into my daily life.”

He spoke brazenly of a violent upbringing in which he was exposed to stabbings and pub fights from an early age.

He abandoned a existence of crime yrs ago right after turning into a father, he explained. “No a single ever taught me how to paint. It was my way of working with my very own previous. My involvement with artwork definitely saved my life. I would have ended up in jail or dead otherwise.”

Hirst’s cherry blossom paintings have reportedly sold for up to about £2.5m. Machine’s sell for up to £10,000.

David Lee, editor of The Jackdaw, explained: “Where plagiarism is anxious, Hirst has a very long rap sheet. He’s even admitted to it, so it’s tough to give him the profit of the question on any new celebration. Hirst’s variations search as nevertheless he may perhaps very well have seen Machine’s images and the thought lodged in his suggestible head.”

Hirst’s associates ended up approached but declined to comment.