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Art rebel and Stuckist Charles Thomson, from East Finchley, claims artist Damien Hirst works are inspired by others
AN art activist from East Finchley has attacked the work of the artist Damien Hirst, claiming 15 of his pieces have been inspired by others.
Artist Charles Thomson, of Manor Cottages Approach, outlined the alleged cases of imitation in an article for art magazine The Jackdaw.
The co-founder of the maverick art movement, the Stuckists, claims several Hirst works were based on existing pieces by artists who received no recognition for the design.
Mr Thomson said he was commissioned to write the article analysing similarities between Hirst's work and others, and claims when he began looking into issue it was like “opening the lid to Pandora's box”.
He said he not only found examples which have been complained about in the past, but in fact uncovered at least eight new cases.
In the article, entitled The Art Damien Hirst Stole, Thomson presents 15 works by Hirst alongside images of the works he claims they are inspired by.
He said: “I started looking into it when I started speaking to artist John LeKay. The more I heard about it, the more my mouth dropped open.
“People were pointing me in all different directions. A lot of the artists have been appropriated, and they don't know how to deal with it.
“Some cases could be seen as just brilliant coincidence, while others seem to show he has done something incriminating.”
Amongst the works highlighted is In Nomine Partris, which shows an eviscerated sheep in formaldehyde positioned in a crucifixion pose.
Thomson alleges Hirst got the idea from a 1986 piece by LeKay entitled This Is My Body, This Is My Blood, which also featured the vision of a seemingly crucified sheep.
Stuckist Thomson said: “I felt a sense of outrage when I was uncovering these, it was quite heart rending. The person who had come up with the ideas had received no recognition after years of work.
“I am really pleased because it has got it out there and some of these artists may feel vindicated because they can get some recognition.”
Hirst's press officer has been quoted in some reports as saying the article was “poor journalism” and said the artist would issue a “comprehensive” rebuttal.
The Stuckists were founded in 1999 by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, who has since left, to promote figurative painting and oppose conceptual art.
The movement started with 13 artists and now consists of more than 200 separate groups in 48 countries. It was named by Thomson after Tracy Emin told Mr Childish, her former partner, that he was “stuck” for continuing to paint, while she was practising conceptual art.