The Portland Invasion Of Damien Hirst’s Brain

damien hirst brain slices

A Damien Hirst exhibit got me out to the Portland Art Museum’s modern art branch, the Jubitz center (Paid for by the people who brought you The World’s Classiest Truck Stop!)   It’s really nice, with four floors of famous and less-famous artists, bringing Stumptown face to face with its first Kenny Scharf, Philip Guston, Francis Bacon, and more. It’s great to have a contemporary art wing to the sometimes fusty and provincial museum.

Once I had enjoyed Oldenberg’s giant, breathing icepack (later visited its brother in the lobby of Cedars-Sinai hospital when my friend Lola broke her leg), a nice assortment of Duchamp stuff, and the Longo crawling-drowning-yuppie sculpture, I made it to the top floor of Hirst pieces. Two of them were giant, one Pharmacy installation and a glass display of many, many animal skeletons. The other two pieces were a drug-spot painting and the above painting of sliced brains, that looked a lot like homemade seitan.

“But for me, from my point of view, I don’t mind if it falls over… if you break the glass you replace the glass, if the sheep falls out you can always get a new sheep.” – Damien Hirst

It’s good for me to go to the museum, not only because I love art, but it’s also a helpful reminder of how tired my whole nosering-and-glasses, bob-haircut, art-chick schtick is. It’s like coming to the place in Battlestar Galactica where all your identical Cylons live.

2015 Update: I was excited to see the Away from the Flock at the Broad this week.  He’s beautiful and sad and it’s like meeting a celebrity who is also a dead lamb in formaldehyde.

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