Monday, January 23, 2012

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Ralphie's secret decoder ring, A Christmas Story (1983); the Ralphie-like, and ring-laden Damien Hirst

I think we have to start entertaining the possibility that Damien Hirst is a lot funnier than anyone is giving him credit for:
A member of Gagosian staff tells me that the key paintings which correlate specific colours with letters of the alphabet are the start of a game: if you look at each painting carefully, a sequence of colours will reveal a hidden word, and if you get the word first you win a spot painting.
I want to go on the record now with my guess (and it rhymes with Methamphetamine):
"Be sure to drink your Ovaltine."

My thanks to Greg Allen, for passing on the news and for pointing out that "if each painting contains a word, then the entire series forms a text. a 1,500 word essay," which brought to mind what Jennifer Bostic posted about the Spot Paintings earlier today: 
I found myself looking at them like text pages in a book—but in a new language of Pantone dingbats. That perhaps somehow hidden within the colors, there is a legend you can break... But when I stepped back and allowed the dots to become a halftone, the overall effect was an even, all-over field. I saw what typographers call ‘rivers’ and ‘canyons’. These are the fractures that run through carelessly set justified typography (that, unsurprisingly, look like rivers and canyons). But, these ‘rivers’ were surprisingly minor. And I didn’t see any dark or light clusters; No islands or holes—the sort of true randomness I’d expect. Instead what I saw were paintings that reflected a great deal of careful design.
A Christmas Story (1983); Damien Hirst, Controlled Substances (1994)

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