Alex Massie

Damien Hirst & Art for Toddlers

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There's an "Artist Rooms" exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art that features some of Damien Hirst's work. Cue much excitement. Especially from his target audience: two year olds. Specifically, my niece:

My companion Florence (aged two and a half), was really into it all. She is famous for her total disregard for art galleries, so is perhaps fitting that she admire Hirst. And she did, having sprinted (literally) past all the fabulous Auerbach, Kokoshka and Soutine paintings upstairs she stopped and stared at Dots and Pickles. She was fascinated by the sheep but her fascination incurred the wrath of eager guards who scolded her for touching the exhibit. "There's formaldehyde in there". Behind about four inches of reinforced glass there is. But I suppose the only thing to make this stuff stand up as Important Art is to tell off two year olds when they touch it.

less impressed

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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