British artist Damien Hirst poses during the press visit of an exhibition entitled 'Cherry Blossoms' dedicated to his work, on July 2, 2021 at the Fondation Cartier in Paris. (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY MENTION OF THE ARTIST UPON PUBLICATION - TO ILLUSTRATE THE EVENT AS SPECIFIED IN THE CAPTION (Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr Machine says the paintings look too similar to be coincidence.

Damien Hirst is thought to be the UK’s most successful living artist. Joe Machine was upset by his show of cherry blossom paintings that he recently closed in Paris.

Mr Machine claims that the paintings look “very similar to his own cherry blossom paintings, which were first shown in 2006.

Dalya Alberge, The Observer, he said that he saw Hirst cherry blossom paintings, and for a second thought, he was looking at his own paintings.

Cherry picking

Mr Machine doesn’t suggest that Mr Hirst’s paintings are exact copies. He argues, however, that the “very dark branches”, the “powder-blue skies” and the “blotches of rose blossom” are too similar to be coincidences.

According to the artist, he painted cherry blossoms as a response to his “criminal past”.

Play for children

The Guardian previously reported that Mr Hirst’s exhibition was partly inspired by the memory of his mother, who painted a cherry tree in bloom when he was just three or four years old.

Charles Thomson, an artist and co-founder, of the Stuckists (an international group advocating traditional artistry), said that he sympathizes with Mr Machine’s claims.

According to reports, Mr Hirst’s cherry blooms sold for around PS2.5m while Mr Machine’s can be purchased for as high as PS10,000.

Past claims

There have been many allegations against Mr Hirst that he copied other artists’ work throughout his career. Although he has always denied any plagiarism, he stated in 2018 that “all my ideas were stolen anyway”. In 2017, when Hirst’s Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable exhibit was revealed in Venice, British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor claimed that there were “striking similarities” to his marine installations. Hirst claimed he didn’t violate copyright, and that he was fascinated by “coralized” objects since the late 90s.

A blossoming friendship is not possible

Mr Machine stated that he was not impressed with Mr Hirst admitting to copying other people. It’s not a joke for me. It’s possible for him to be flippant, but I won’t steal the work of others. He said he was incensed. Representatives of Mr Hirst were contacted to provide comment.