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David Hockney, Damien Hirst Feud Over Use Of Assistants

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British artist David Hockney (L) attending a photocall at the Tate Britain gallery in central London on June 11, 2007 and British artist Damien Hirst (R) posing for photographs during a photocall at Sotheby's art gallery and auction house in central London, on September 8, 2008.
British artist David Hockney (L) attending a photocall at the Tate Britain gallery in central London on June 11, 2007 and British artist Damien Hirst (R) posing for photographs during a photocall at Sotheby's art gallery and auction house in central London, on September 8, 2008.

LONDON — Two of Britain's art superstars are squabbling about whether it's acceptable to use assistants to create works of art.

The argument pits painter David Hockney, just awarded Britain's prestigious Order of Merit, against conceptual artist Damien Hirst.

Hockney uses the poster for his upcoming Royal Academy show to state that all the works on exhibit were "made by the artist himself."

Radio Times magazine reported Tuesday that Hockney said in an interview that the comment was directed at Hirst, who has used assistants to help create some of his most famous pieces.

Hirst has said his assistants do a better painting job than he could and that he becomes easily bored. He is best known for suspending a shark in formaldehyde and covering a human skull with more than 8,000 diamonds.

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