Damien Hirst"s work: How our man spent 100 knockout out Hirst "artworks" the old fraud"s selling for 100,000

Move over Damien! How our man spent 100 knockout out Hirst 'artworks' the old fraud's selling for 100,000

UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 6 April 2012

You know the saying ‘I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like’

Well, what I learned this week is that I like sloshing paint around like a three-year-old, and I like messing about with sticky butterflies and attaching coloured spots on to skateboards.

And most of all, I like the idea of recreating more than 100,000 worth of modern art in a few hours — for just a few pounds.

Damien Hirst with Mother and Child Divided

Vincent Graff

Vincent Graff (right) attempted to make credible copies of Damien Hirst's (left) creations

My mission was to replicate some of
the Damien Hirst creations on sale in the gift shop of Tate Modern,
where a retrospective of his work is being held, and on his personal
website.

And guess what

It’s
not that difficult — even though the price tags make them some of the
most ludicrously expensive art show keepsakes ever.

In the past, Hirst
has targeted his marketing at millionaires and art investors looking to
pump their money into the next big thing.

But now the mercurial artist has turned his attention to the ordinary punter.

Well, any ordinary punter who happens to have very deep pockets.

Visitors
to the Tate Modern gift shop are greeted by the sight of a ghoulish
skull covered in brightly coloured household emulsion paint.

Its price 36,800. Though that’s a snip compared to the butterfly stuck in a white frame which is yours for just 42,000.

So could I make credible copies — and how much money would I save in the process

Here’s how I got on…

Damian Hirst's 'Hallucinatory head' painted skull

Vincent Graff's 'Hallucinatory head' painted skull

DAMIAN: 36,800 DIY: 7.49

‘Hallucinatory Head’ painted skull

My piece de resistance — but the thing is, I can’t just do a bit of ordinary paint-splattering.

How could I, when Hirst describes it thus: ‘The technique is simple but the result relies on complex ideas about mortality and the history of mankind, touching on specific anthropological and historical readings, with compelling, celebratory and seductive results’

Damien’s skull is plastic; mine is polystyrene. But a quick slice with the scalpel to create the same shape and I’m in business.

The trick, I soon discover, is to slather Homebase own-brand paint on nice and thick, like a celebrity chef ladling custard on to a Christmas pudding, then let gravity do most of the work. Frankly, it’s simple stuff.

WHAT YOU NEED: Polystyrene novelty skull, Angel’s fancy dress, 3.49; paint, Homebase, 4.

'LOVE IS A LOADED PISTOL' FRAMED BUTTERFLY

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Vincent Graff's 'Love is a loaded pistol' framed butterfly

DAMIAN: 42,000 DIY: 19.64

My framed butterfly-on-a-red-background is pretty easy to assemble — Ikea sell a brilliant line in butterfly stickers, and it just so happens we have a pack in the house — my wife bought it months ago (we’ve used four or five to decorate our children’s bedroom).

As for the frame, I buy and paint it myself. I’m mighty proud of this piece, being my biggest saving at a whopping 41,980.36 on Hirst’s version. I might even put it up on the wall.

WHAT YOU NEED: Frame, local shop, 12.99; Pritt Stick, 2.25, red card, 2, backing foam, 2.25, all from local art shop; butterfly sticker (from a 4.99 Ikea packet), 15p.

DECKCHAIR SKY BLUE

Damian Hirst's Deckchair Sky Blue

Vincent Graff's deckchair sky blue

DAMIAN: 310 DIY: 37.50

Luckily, I’ve plenty of butterfly stickers left over from my framed picture with which to transform my 35 John Lewis deckchair into a Hirst version worth 310.

So what if mine does not have a ‘stainless steel plaque with Damien Hirst’s signature etched on to it’ I can sign my own, thanks very much.

Besides, Damien’s doesn’t have a money-back guarantee at Brent Cross shopping centre (though I doubt it will take it back now that I’ve defaced it with butter flies). Nor, indeed, does he promise that he’s never knowingly undersold.

WHAT YOU NEED: John Lewis FSC Deckchair Lido, 35; Butterfly stickers (half of Ikea packet), 2.50.

BEAUTIFUL AMORE UMBRELLA

Damian Hirst's Beautiful amore umbrella

Vincent Graff's beautiful amore umbrella

DAMIAN: 39.95 DIY: 9.99

This
might be the best value item in Hirst’s gift shop collection: it’s less
than 40. But even that is four times the price it cost me to make.

All
I had to do was slosh a whole load of paint on to an umbrella, then use
brushes, my fingers and a bit of gravity to come up with a
near-identical version. However, I’m not sure how mine would cope if it
rained…

WHAT YOU NEED: Umbrella, H&M, 4.99; paint, Homebase, 5.

SUPREME 3 SPOTS SKATEBOARD

Damian Hirst's Supreme3 spots skateboard

Vincent Graff's Supreme3 spots skateboard

DAMIAN: 480 DIY: 28.86

Argos does a lovely line in cheap skateboards, but the best I can find is black and I needs it to be brilliant white, which requires a lick of paint.

Rymans sell white stickers, so a few minutes with my son’s felt tips and the spots are sorted.

WHAT YOU NEED: Skateboard, Argos, 17.99; paint, Homebase, 2.50; circular stickers, 2.38, and marker pens, Rymans, 5.99; felt tips: 0.

'GODLESS' FRAMED MEDICINE CABINET

Damian Hirst's 'Innocence Lost' sausage in a bottle

Damian Hirst's 'Innocence lost' sausage in a bottle

DAMIAN: 5,450 DIY: 7.11

I’m the first to admit there are key differences between my version of this and Damien’s.

This is how Damien’s people describe the piece: ‘The title of the work alludes to a spiritual wasteland where salvation only seems to be found through chemical intervention.’

This is how I describe it: it’s a framed picture of a medicine cabinet. In place of his antibiotics and surgical dressings, I’ve got a surfeit of Calpol, Tixylix and Piriton. But in spite of that, can anyone tell me that my collection is inherently less artistic than his

WHAT YOU NEED: Medicine cabinet, 0; medicines (no need to purchase either, cabinet well-stocked), 0; frame, local shop, 12.99; photography paper for printer (one sheet from 5.99 packet from Argos), 30p.

'GODLESS' FRAMED MEDICINE CABINET

Damian Hirst's 'Godless' framed medicine cabinet

Vincent Graff's 'Godless' framed medicine cabinet

DAMIAN: 20,000 DIY: 13.29

I’m the first to admit there are key differences between my version of this and Damien’s.

This is how Damien’s people describe the piece: ‘The title of the work alludes to a spiritual wasteland where salvation only seems to be found through chemical intervention.’

This is how I describe it: it’s a framed picture of a medicine cabinet. In place of his antibiotics and surgical dressings, I’ve got a surfeit of Calpol, Tixylix and Piriton.

But in spite of that, can anyone tell me that my collection is inherently less artistic than his

WHAT YOU NEED: Medicine cabinet, 0; medicines (no need to purchase either, cabinet well-stocked), 0; frame, local shop, 12.99; photography paper for printer (one sheet from 5.99 packet from Argos), 30p.