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Stylist makes art with Damien Hirst

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Tate Modern had better clear some wallspace; Stylist’s photography director Tom Gormer has just created his first masterpiece.

Working on Stylist, I’ve had the opportunity to commission many artists I admire. Last month’s Tracey Emin cover was a massive exclusive and Rob Ryan’s intricate paper cutting Jubilee cover summed up the street-party spirit perfectly.

But then the opportunity came to make an actual piece of art myself for the magazine: with none other than Damien Hirst, who invited me along to Covent Garden to make one of his iconic spin paintings. There are no words!

I’m a huge modern art fan – whether I understand it or not is a different conversation – and I do genuinely think Hirst is a genius. I’m not the only one: when tickets went on sale for his retrospective at the Tate Modern in April, the first three days sold out in minutes. So, last week, I set off for Covent Garden where Damien and 40 London school children were creating spin paintings, in support of Camilla Batmanghelidjh’s charity, Kids Company, which supports vulnerable children and young people.

Out of six stencil shapes on offer: circle, butterfly, heart, rocket, shark, skull; I chose a circle, and got spinning. Choosing my colours was quite stressful. I had only one chance to make a piece of art with the most famous artist in Britain. This is where his advice was crucial; four to five colours are optimum; any more and you risk creating brown sludge; less (volume of paint) is more; make sure you cover all the white bits; and gold is good! The whole process took about 10 minutes. As you can see, I’m hugely impressed with my results.

Damien may be worth £215 million, sell his own spiral paintings for an average of £75,000 – his most expensive work the diamond-studded skull For The Love Of God (2007) carries a price tag of £50 million – but he may have some stiff competition on his hands…

To see the spin paintings created by the children alongside a new spin painting by Damien Hirst, visit Covent Garden’s Market Building from 18 June-2 July. To find out more about Kids Company visit kidsco.org.uk

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