Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Damien Hirst meets the Dollar Store: A Q&A with Laura Kikauka

Ontario- and Berlin-based artist Laura Kikauka prompted quite a few chuckles at the Toronto International Art Fair last year when her Berlin gallery, DNA, distributed posters with her gaudy, sequiny, low-rent version of Damien Hirst's For the Love of God printed on them.

With Kikauka returning to show some of her dollar-store crystal skulls at MKG127 this fall, I knew I wanted to line her up for an interview to see what her reasoning behind these witty works was. Our condensed conversation is published in today's National Post. An excerpt:

Q Your sculptures, as you've suggested, can be thought of as critical of Hirst. But is there anything you admire about him?

A I think he's an excellent businessman. I really liked how he auctioned his own work at Sotheby's last year, making his gallery buy it from him at top dollar. I thought that was a smooth move. His way of working in the art world goes against the grain, but I think it can be good to shake things up. What kind of artist can get attention these days not by splattering blood, but by actually having something to say?

Image of Laura Kikauka's Eye Candy from the artist and MKG127

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