Monday, March 14, 2005

Damien Hirst does Roseanne Holland and I have some questions


I realize this ain't local, but I still find it interesting. Apologies. In today's New York Times, Carol Vogel writes a puff-piece about the new Damien Hirst show at the Gagosian Gallery.

What I found interesting was the picture that they (Ms. Vogel?) chose to illustrate the article. A series of paintings (I'm unclear if they are a polyptych or individual paintings) called:

The Devastating Impact of Crack Cocaine.

- courtesy Gagosian Gallery, via the New York Times.

Why I found them interesting is that they were part of a campaign by the Metropolitan Police Service (London) to "drive drug dealers out of London's communities." The pictures are of a woman named Roseanne Holland taken by the police in Florida over a 9 year period.

Roseanne Holland Nov 1979

Roseanne Holland July 1980

Roseanne Holland August 1980

Roseanne Holland Mar 1981

Roseanne Holland June 1982

Roseanne Holland May 1986

Roseanne Holland April 1988

Roseanne Holland June 1988

Roseanne Holland Time unknown 1988

Roseanne Holland Jan 1989

All the pictures of Ms. Holland are lifted from here.

I have a couple of questions.
1. Did Mr. Hirst license the images from the London or Florida police? And who owns the copyright to the images?
2. If there were ten images originally, why did Mr. Hirst only use six? Was it because he didn't know of the other three, or some other reason? Or did the New York Times only choose to use six?
3. Given what one would assume is his stance on crack cocaine, do you think that he is going to donate any of the $250,000 to $2 million the painting(s) cost to either Ms. Holland (or her heirs, as nobody is certain that she is still alive) or some organization like the London police or an anti-drug organization?
4. As Ms. Vogel refers to the painting as "a haunting series of a crack addict deteriorating as her addiction grew." Does the Gagosian Gallery not give out background information to the press?
And if Jennifer doesn't mind, to play Simpleposie for a minute, What questions would you ask of Mr. Hirst?

*Extra special thanks to OptimusCrime for help in tracking down the pictures of Ms. Holland.

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