The Damien Hirst Spot Challenge: The dottiest scavenger hunt ever

I popped up out of the subway in Athens to face a phalanx of police riot shields. In LA, Stephen Spielberg's mother proudly toured me through her shrine to her son's talent (it's on the way to the restroom of her diner). Then there was Occupy London with its dystopian yet fiercely activist vibe ... and the $10/night Kung Fu hostel buried in one of Hong Kong's buzzing cities-within-a-building with its Changi prison aesthetic and crazed woman who refused to budge from my bunk bed …

SPOT PLANKING: One of the funnest things you can do in Geneva at the Gagosian Geneva gallery.
Thanks to Johan @Gogo for being a great sport!

My latest escapade was a complete departure from anything I've attempted before: the Damien Hirst Spot Challenge - a kind of global art scavenger hunt.

The brief: dash across datelines visiting 11 galleries showing the artist's Spot Painting retrospective, get your official "been there, spotted that" card stamped, and as a reward, receive a spot print personally signed and dedicated to you by Hirst himself.

It was one of the stressful, yet exhilarating adventures I've ever undertaken. I can safely say that although I was in Paris in the morning, Geneva at lunchtime and Rome in the afternoon, I saw as a more stuff that on other trips with a more leisurely schedule. Those Japanese tourist buses are onto something! 

The full spot-by-spot journey is thrashed out in a series of blog posts below. Who knows if Hirst will even repeat this kind of thing (it took him a year to deliver our print), but you can trace my journey (NY -> LA -> London -> Paris -> Geneva -> Rome -> Athens -> HK) now:

SPOT #1-3: New York, New York, New York!

SPOT #4: New York to LA

SPOT #5-6: LA to London

SPOT #7: London to Paris

SPOT #8: Paris to Geneva

SPOT #9: Geneva to Rome

SPOT #10: Rome to Athens

SPOT #11: Athens to Hong Kong


Picking up my Spot Challenge print from Gagosian Gallery with artist Pamela Talese - who included a homage to Hirst in her recent show, Sugar and Fat


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