For the Love of God, Your’re Taking the Mick

150 150 Rob McGibbon

Hail be to Damien Hirst, Lord of the Blag-n-Swag, the leading Taking The Piss-Artist of the 21st century, he has sold his diamond encrusted skull to a group of Bandwagon Believers for $100million. Bravo, and what a snip for them, I say. And to think, they don’t even own all of it – Damien still owns a slice. Incroyable! Really, I do doff my diamante Von Dutch trucker’s cap to him.

Well, in a scoop of journalistic enterprise to rival Damien’s 29-carat chutzpah, I have managed to snag the interview all those vile media people wanted – a chat with the real owner of the skull. Yes, after a flurry of calls to contacts in the Afterlife, I managed to track him down to a silver lined cloud, playing his platinum harp, for a full and frank talk. A genuine out-of-this world exclusive.

Naturally, as the progenitor of this interview idea, I really should not have to be arsed with actually doing the bloody thing myself. Like Hirst, I am generally minded to get serfs to do the tiresome nitty-gritty of creativity for me, to save my energies for photo calls, preview nights and, of course, money counting. Unfortunately, all my writing slaves are currently hard at work in my Word Factory in Wapping compiling articles, film scripts, plays and novels for me to bask in the glory of their creation at a later date. Hence, it fell to me to conduct this work. Yawn-bloody-yawn, work, what a mug’s game. If there was already such an interview in existence I would have just copied it, but alas No.

I discovered that the real owner of the skull was a young man called Mikel Sumjuans-Rippunmeov, who heralded from the darkened nether regions of Central Europe in the early 18th century. He was something of a star in his day, rising from humble roots in Bristolianav to become a celebrated alchemist. However, it all went a bit pink pear-shaped when the tricks of his trade were revealed and people realised that he was not making gold after-all, but instead a yellowy worthless lead. Ultimately, he died a premature and violent death, but more of that later.

I meet Mikel – who prefers to be called Mick – at a secret location. Tired and little bit grouchy at the skulduggery of recent events, he opened is heart to me.

RM: Well, Mick, welcome back to Earth with a bump. How are things for you at the moment? I see you are not wearing a head today – is that a fashion statement on the Other Side?

MS-R: Yeah, being headless is a bit in vogue ‘round my neck of the woods, but I’m not a big follower of fads – it’s all bollocks. I’m not wearing my head simply because some chuffing sheister nicked it centuries ago and I never found a decent replacement.

RM: Hmm, ouch, I see. What happened to it?

MS-R: I don’t really want go in to it because it all feels like another lifetime to me. I’ve moved on since then. But, basically, a group of gravediggers called the Shite Cubists dug me up and took my head. They were a big bunch of crooks at the time and got up to all kinds of shit.

RM: But surely that was illegal? Why weren’t they caught and hung, drawn in pencil and dunked into gooey liquid and put on show at the Sarky and Malarkey gallery for violent offenders?

MS-R: Well, they managed to blag everyone that they were recycling body bits in the name of Art. I mean, how anyone fell for it, I don’t know. But people were pretty stupid back then. Not much has changed, that’s for sure.

RM: How do you feel about your skull now being made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds and sold for a moderate Earth fortune?

MS-R: Not good, I can tell you. No.1 – I could do without the flaming publicity. I was chilled out on Cloud 9 before all this. And No.2, I’ve had it up to here (Mick raises a rotten hand to his collar) with being exploited. I mean, these people are messing with my head – literally. And who is this bloke Damien Turdst, what right has he got to bleed my image rights dry? How the hell would he feel if I came down to his castle in Devon with a big rusty sickle and said, “Alright, mate, I’m here for your head because I’ve got this exhibition coming up in Heavenox Square in St James’s and my manager Dank Dumpy needs something a bit fresh. Swoosh. See you later.” Not happy, I bet.

RM: I see that the celebrated art historian Rudi Fuchsup has called Hirst’s skull “celestial” and a “victory over decay”. You’re clearly someone who knows about decay, do you agree?

M-SR: Fuchsup is talking out of his big fat decay tube. I tell ya, man, these art people make me want to kill myself. The bullshit they come out with. And people believe ‘em!

RM: Now that the skull has been bought, do you have any message for the buyers and indeed Mr Hirst.

M-SR: Oh, yeah. For the love of God give me my fucking head back, you little shits.

Part Two of this interview “The years before I lost my head” continues soon…