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Daily Pic: A full wall of dots by Damien Hirst, from the spot-painting extravaganza that is now filling all the world’s Gagosian galleries. (And that the Daily Pic can’t seem to shake free of.) Of the project’s 331 spotted canvases, the only ones that fail, as art, are the ones that could count as “successful” abstract paintings. The whole glory of Hirst’s project, it seems to me, is that it blows-off stale, Old Masterish notions of fine-art connoisseurship. Hirst drowns the connoisseurial eye in a sea of spots whose colors have been chosen arbitrarily, and so can’t be any more significant, artistically speaking, than the random colors floating on an oil slick. When Hirst’s spot paintings look good, it’s an accident that needs to be ignored. By refusing to let us fall back on easy aesthetic judgments, picture by picture, Hirst forces us to work at what his flood of picture-making might mean, as a whole. Hirst’s dots don’t provide the quick read, as eye candy, that gets some critics to dismiss them. I’d say the project demands the kind of slow, attentive thought you give to the complexities of a great Cezanne or Picasso. (Photo by Timothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images)