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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > June 2016 > Is Mr Death in?

Is Mr Death in?

Two things obsessed Damien Hirst and friends—making money and mortality, says Stephen Bayley

Artrage! The Story of the BritArt Revolution

by Elizabeth Fullerton (Thames & Hudson, £24.95)

Damien Hirst’s shark and Tracey Emin’s unmade bed will be remembered forever. So too, perhaps, will Marc Quinn’s self-portrait of his head filled with his own frozen blood, although decomposing plasma and unreliable refrigeration may mean that memories will be all that remain of his masterpiece.

Marcus Harvey’s Myra, a gigantic portrait of Moors Murderer Myra Hindley, may also enter the canon. Harvey’s work reproduces the infamous 1965 Daily Mirror photograph of Hindley using imprints of a child’s hand. At its first public showing at the Royal Academy in 1997, Myra was vandalised twice on the first day and subsequently four Royal Academicians resigned in protest—sure evidence that Harvey was on to something.

All four works have become synonymous with BritArt—that noisy, febrile, promising, chaotic, brilliant movement that was as much to do with the history of public relations as it was the history of art—which is the subject of a new book by Elizabeth Fullerton: Artrage! The Story of the BritArt Revolution.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s June issue: Bronwen Maddox lays out the case for Britain to stay in Europe—the position taken by the magazine. Mikhail Gorbachev explains his hopes for Russia, suggesting that the claim democracy is bad for Russia is “balderdash.” Rachel Sylvester looks at the Conservative Party and explores what might happen to the Tories after the EU referendum. Also in this issue: Nicholas Shaxson and Alex Cobham unpick the world of hidden money and what Britain can do about tax havens. Neil Kinnock argues that Labour isn’t making progress under Jeremy Corbyn and Jason Burke examines Islamic State and the networks that underpin their attacks. Plus Stephen Bayley asks was BritArt any good?