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The test of art

By Tom Chatfield  

This month’s piece on Damien Hirst by Ben Lewis reminds me of one of the most simple yet difficult to dismiss reactions which contemporary art can elicit: “I could do that!” Obviously, I can’t just nip out of the office and produce a skull studded with diamonds and, equally obviously, many of those who respond to art like this are seriously underestimating the skill or invention needed to produce it. But the underlying question will not go away, and it’s been around for quite some time now—how far does something’s value as art rely on an artist’s craft and invention,…

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