Spot Challenge: An Epic in Limericks

As we gear up for Damien Hirst’s spot extravaganza at all 11 Gagosian Galleries, and its accompanying “Spot Challenge”–whoever proves

A 2009 clock by Damien Hirst.

As we gear up for Damien Hirst’s spot extravaganza at all 11 Gagosian Galleries, and its accompanying “Spot Challenge”–whoever proves that they have seen all 11 exhibitions gets a personalized spot print–we turn to verse for an imagining of the quest.

A writer, seeking spots, finds love, and money


At the crowded press preview for spots
She took her place with the have-nots
And withdrew her pad
And wrote, “I’m so glad
These are paintings of spots, not dots.”

Though the “Challenge” might lead to frustrations
The spot paintings caused her elations
At the shark in a tank
Her heart always sank
She was fond of fish and cetaceans.

As for the cow’s head with flies,
That piece she came to despise.
As a child of three
She was stung by a bee,
And at all flying insects she cries.


Seeing spots on the Upper East Side
It helps to feel pretty inside.
So she stopped in at Choos
And picked up some shoes
And fit in on the Upper East Side.


A collector friend wanted to fly her.
But, concerned he intended to buy her,
She said, “That’s okay,
I’ll do it my way.”
Though flying commercial would try her.

She was an identical twin
And, vis-a-vis spots, that’s a win.
She ran down to the Tate
With her twin–wasn’t late–
And gave this performance a spin.

The spots were arrayed on the wall
And the wall was really quite tall.
She escaped to a pub
Because, look, here’s the rub:
It took drink to handle it all.

A pedantic expert in spots
Was explaining the paintings to tots.
A svelte employee
Came and offered her tea
When asked how much cream she said “lots.”


En route to the spot painting show
She met a swarthy Greek hobo.
He asked for some change.
He really was strange.
She said, “Where are the spots? Do you know?”

When she got there, she went, “Psst! Hey you.
Can I buy this spot painting for a shoe?
The economy’s bad.”
He said, “That’d be rad!”
But instead of just one he took two.


She remembered a wonderful song
About seeing spots in Hong Kong
But the music was spacey
And the lyrics were…racy…
It was a pornographic song.

She thought, this isn’t to say cant:
There are things I can see, that they can’t.
Like, the spots make sense here
That much is clear
It’s busy, but eerily vacant.


On her way to the Colosseum
She met a hot guy–did you see him?
He said, “Come with me,
There are spots, you’ll see.”
They saw spots in a spot museum.

By the Fountain of the Four Rivers
She admitted the spots gave her shivers.
Said, “What can it be
That’s happened to me?
That artist–he really delivers.”


Along the Champs-Élysées
“See the spots,” was all people could say.
But the bed at Four Seasons
Was chief among reasons
They stayed there all night and all day.


He figured, it’s really quite Swiss
To buy a Swiss watch for your Miss.
With spots as his witness
He was sure of the fitness
Of giving a watch, and a kiss.

(The gift she thought a bit dull
Compared to a diamond skull
But to get that from him,
Well, the chances were slim,
In fact, they were perfectly null.)


They liked seeing spots with the stars,
And he took her to Hollywood’s bars.
Was it spots or the sun
Made him say, “You’re the one”?
They were wedded in Vegas, in cars.


She brought her spot painting to Phillips.
They said, “These are far more than fillips!”
De Pury was paged
And an auction was staged
For that pricey spot painting at Phillips.


A man from Ouagadougou
Wanted a spot tattoo
He said, “I have seen
In Garage magazine
An intriguing tattoo one can do.” Spot Challenge: An Epic in Limericks