Does he need to do it? No. But Damien Hirst wants it his way! He (well, someone) affixed his 6ft. tall “Beautiful Psychedelic Gherkin Exploding Tomato Sauce All Over Your Face, Flame Grilled Painting” (2003) in Leicester Square’s Burger King (in the West End of London), just in time for the 2012 Summer Olympics! Phew. (McDonald’s is an official sponsor.) Leicester Square is known today as “Theatreland” due to the number and size of neon-lit movie theatres in the area (the largest seats more than 1600), but during the 1979 garbage strike, it was used as an overflow dump, earning it the nickname of “Fester Square.” It’s not certain which incarnation of the place Hirst’s work pays homage to.
In the past, Hirst’s spin paintings (like “BPGETSAOYFFGP” in BK) rotated mechanically on walls. He noted that movement was essential to the success of the work: “The moment they stop, they start to rot and stink.” If Hirst ever stops, someone may catch him and think the same, but he won’t. Remember: he knows better than anyone the perpetual secret of the shark.