Thursday, 5 April 2012

A SHARK IN A TANK

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I walked into The Saatchi Gallery in Boundary Road in 1992,  and was spooked by the Young British Artists, that Charles Saatchi was showing there, especially  "The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living" by Damien Hirst, in simple terms,  the shark in a tank. I could have died, I was in awe, blinded by the white light and shocked by his show there. I had never seen anything like it before. I did not even know it existed. I was clearly living a very 'sloaney' life before that. 
Twenty years later (my goodness time flies) I  am writing about Damien Hirst for the Huffington Post. 
I met Charles and Kay in Thailand in 1992, and yet it feels  like yesterday. Before the show I was not interested in Contemporary Art, I thought it was profane and base. In fact I knew nothing about it and nothing about much. I was young.  Since then I have educated myself, had lessons, studied at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Art History and badgered anybody I could. Mostly I nagged the artists themselves or Kay Saatchi,  who I speak to most days. I am greedy for the meaning of it all. I also have my own collection which includes, some works of  Tracey Emin, Mat Collishaw, Dexter Dalwood, Marc Quinn, Polly Morgan and Sir Peter Blake. 
I had a crush on Kay and Charles, I can honestly admit it. I don't mind what anybody thinks, they opened a world to me.  I am still impressed, The Kings Road was a dying lost place falling to bits, then along come Charles and Nigella Lawson - times change, Charles has new wife- and the new Saatchi Gallery,  this time Chinese Art,  and wow The Kings Road is majestic again. Boutique restaurants and clean lines, cleaned up and on show again.  Of course the rock n roll of the Sixties to the Eighties has gone, but Charles Saatchi has woken it up and still managed to make it groovy.
We now live with Reality Television series called 'Made in Chelsea' instead of Coronation Street. Grime changes locations, but it is still grime. 
Charles has been pretty silent, not totally,because there is always a rumbling underneath the surface, and internal earthquake, he is now writing a column in The Evening Standard. Damien Hirst has moved on too, he is the most expensive artist in the world now, and he is having an exhibition at The Tate.  Kay lives now in Los Angeles and is best friend you can possibly have there.


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