Artistically it’s quite an interesting question: I expect that I could successfully launch the discussion with both my Theory of Knowledge class and my Visual Arts class – what is the real role of the artist?

Can just having the idea be enough, or should there be a bit of hands-on art-making as well?

It seems that DH1 and DH2 have somewhat differing views (DH1 being David Hockney, DH2 being Damien Hirst)

British artist David Hockney, given the Order of Merit in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list, has recently objected to fellow artist Damien Hirst’s practice of using “assistants'” to complete some works. The poster for Hockney’s new Royal Academy show says, “All the works here were made by the artist himself, personally.”

According to the L magazine, in 2007 Hirst said of the multicolored dot paintings: “As soon as I sold one, I used the money to pay people to make them. They were better at it than me. I get bored. I get very impatient.”

(See list of links to online articles for more information below)

Of course in many ways the world of art, and the world of Diploma Programme Visual Arts, are two different beasts, not least because we have one set of assessment criteria used to judge all ‘our’ art (unlike the real world).

And, generally speaking, I like it when my student hands in work that he/she has planned, developed, and created himself/herself, rather than work that somebody else has constructed. If the work is collaborative, fine, but I still like to know or at least have a reasonable idea of who did what.

It’s not always simple – for example, what about the fashion student who designs complex garments that are actually made by others – but generally speaking as an examiner I’m expecting that the work I am assessing has been created by the candidate, rather than a room full of his/her mates.

Online links to related “Hockney and Hirst” articles from UK newspapers

“David Hockney vs Damien Hirst: the Queen’s chosen one puts king of the YBAs on the spot”

“David Hockney had a pop at Damien Hirst, implying artists should make their own work. Do you agree?”

“David Hockney is always right and always wrong”

“Hirst’s army of assistants insults art, says Hockney: Veteran’s attack as he joins Order of Merit”