Julian Spalding's had the guts to say in public what many have been thinking and discussing in private for some time. He's caught the mood of the nation and hit a raw nerve in the con(ceptual) art world. According to The Financial Times, prices for Hirst's work (I'm wondering about the price tag on those caged sausages at the Tate) are already plummeting.
The Tate belongs to the nation, yet Spalding was refused entry to the Hirst exhibition. That, to me, says it all. If the emperor (Hirst and his work) is indeed clad in magnificent robes, what do they have to worry about? By excluding Spalding from the Tate, they've proven that even the courtiers are now realising the emperor is standing naked, but would like the public, and especially prospective buyers, to hold on to this highly lucrative illusion a little longer.
You could say Spalding has a cruel streak in him - hitting the con art world where it really hurts - the wallet.
Still, despite Spalding's valiant efforts, Hirst is assured a place in history, if only for illustrating the stupidity of the rich(17th Century Tulipmania is an earlier example of the same phenomenon)and for bringing us a new adjective: hirsty, as in "I think it's a bit hirsty" when encountering meat past its sell-by date.