Here are the three covers for Dasha Zhukova's new magazine, 'Garage'. The magazine launches during LFW and the covers feature the work of prominent artists, including Damien Hirst who tattooed a model with a rather provocatively placed tattoo, which was then shot by Hedi Slimane.
I'm not sure how I feel about the covers. I like the fact that the design is bold and sends a sufficiently clear message that the product is something unique, individual, uncommoditised and slightly unattainable.
However, beyond that, the purpose of the Damien Hirst cover is glaringly obvious. An underwhelming attempt to sell copies by passing off a controversial, slightly risque image as "art".
Fine, Hirst may be one of Britain's greatest contemporary artists. And if you don't agree I'm sure you can concede that he (along with Tracey Emin) is definitely the most high profile.
However, I cannot help my disappointment when respected artists ride the wave of the "shock factor" to success. I look at this and think "sure, it's gonna sell well" but I feel there is something inauthentic and disingenuous in a piece of art that was created to attack the sensibilities- not to make you think. Because to me, art without thought is meaningless.
Would love to know what people think.
p.s. For any one who is going to raise the "it's a feminist statement" line, save it.
Oh, and having just written all of that in my lunch break, I realise that the purpose of the shot was precisely to increase press coverage by provoking reactions from the likes of me. Mission accomplished.