Warning: Don’t Mess with Damien Hirst’s Pencils

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The artist Damien Hirst is trying to ruin a seventeen year old artist named Cartrain … for stealing a pack of pencils as a practical joke.

Originally, Hirst went after Cartrain for using an image of his famous diamond skull for a collage that Cartrain sold on his web site. The art gallery in charge of Cartrain’s work apologized to Hirst and gave up the artwork. Cartrain, seeking revenge, went to Hirst’s exhibit at the Tate Modern and stole a pack of pencils that were part of the exhibit. He then created a wanted poster that read:

“For the safe return of Damien Hirst’s pencils I would like my artworks back that … Hirst took off me in November. … Hirst has until the end of this month to resolve this or on 31 July the pencils will be sharpened.”

I love this kid, but Hirst, humorless capitalist that he is, wasn’t laughing. The pencils were valued at £500,000, Cartrain was arrested and released on bail, and now Cartrain’s stunt may go down officially as one of  “the highest value modern art thefts in Britain.”

#hirstisacock has become a popular hashtag on Twitter because it’s true.

Also, let’s not forget that Hirst is a hypocrite. (via @charltonbrooker)


Seth Fischer's writing has appeared in Best Sex Writing 2013, Buzzfeed, PankGuernica, Lunch Ticket, Gertrude, and elsewhere. His Rumpus piece "Notes from a Unicorn" was listed as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2013. He will be a 2014 Lambda Literary Emerging Voicing Fellow and was a 2013 Jentel Arts Residency Program Fellow. He also teaches at Antioch University Los Angeles and Writing Workshops Los Angeles. Find more writing of his writing at www.seth-fischer.com, or reach him @sethfischer. More from this author →