‘The Saatchi Generation’: Art & Advertising in the UK in the Late 20th Century

Ruth Adams


This essay examines the work and careers of the ‘Young British Artists’ – most notably Damien Hirst – and their infamous benefactor. The ‘YBAs’ came to public attention in the late 20th century with the staging of a landmark exhibition called ‘Sensation’ at the Royal Academy in London.  This exhibition showcased the collection of the most important art patron of his generation, the advertising mogul Charles Saatchi.  Fans and critics alike have remarked on the similarity between Saatchi’s own commercial work and the art that he collected – both were eye-catching, witty, irreverent and designed to shock.  Although the extent and the value of Saatchi’s influence on his stable of artists remains open to debate, both can be said to exemplify the culture of late capitalism and the importance and ubiquity of the ‘brand’.

Keywords: Art. Brand. Late Capitalism.

‘A geração saatchi’: Arte & publicidade na Grã Bretanha no final do século XX


O artigo examina o trabalho e a carreira de um grupo denominado “Young British Artists”, cujo expoente é Damien Hirst e seus infames benfeitores. Esse grupo ganhou notoriedade pública no final do século XX, com a histórica exposição “Sensation”, ocorrida na Real Academia de Londres. Essa exposição trouxe a coleção do maior colecionador de arte de sua geração, o magnata da publicidade Charles Saatchi. Fãs e críticos rapidamente começaram a notar similaridades entre as peças publicitárias de Saatchi e as peças de arte que colecionava – ambas prendiam a atenção, eram irreverentes e pensadas para gerar impacto e choque. Embora a extensão e o valor da influência de Saatchi em seu estábulo de artistas permaneça aberto ao debate, ambos podem ser usados para exemplificar a cultura do capitalismo tardio e a importância e ubiquidade da "marca".

Palavras-chave: Arte. Marca. Capitalismo Tardio.


Arte. Marca. Capitalismo Tardio.

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Alberge, D. (2010), ‘Damien Hirst faces eight new claims of plagiarism’, The Guardian, 2 September.

Brooker, C. (2009), ‘What links Lord Mandelson, Damien Hirst and the music industry?’, The Guardian, 14 September.

Dorment, R. (2007), ‘For the love of art and money’, The Telegraph, 1 June.

Dyer, C. (2000), ‘Hirst pays up for Hymn that wasn’t his’, The Guardian, 19 May.

Ford, S. & Davies, A. (1998), ‘Art Capital’, Art Monthly, 213, February, 1-3.

Glaister, D. (1999), ‘Saatchi agency “stole my idea”’, The Guardian, 2 March.

Glancey, J. (1995), ‘Is Advertising Art?’, Independent, 25 July.

Hatton, R. & Walker, J. A. (2000), Supercollector: a critique of Charles Saatchi, London: Ellipsis

Luke, B. (2013) ‘Frozen in time’, The Art Newspaper, 248, July/August, 40-41.

Maloney, M. (1997), ‘Everyone a Winner! Selected British Art From The Saatchi Collection 1987-97’, in Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, 26-34, London: Royal Academy of Arts.

McQuarrie, E. F. & Mick, D. G. (1996), ‘Figures of Rhetoric in Advertising Language’, Journal of Consumer Research, 22, March: 424-438.

Neuendorf, H., (2016), ‘Damien Hirst Sued Over Jewelry Line Plagiarism’, artnet.com, 15 June (accessed from https://news.artnet.com/market/damien-hirst-lawsuit-jewelry-518900).

Searle, A. (1994), ‘Gilding the lolly: artists in advertising: Damien Hirst isn't the first artist to turn his hand to advertising. Adrian Searle surveys the art world's incestuous relationship with commerce’, Independent, 11 September

Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, London: Royal Academy of Arts.

Stallabrass, J. (1999), High Art Lite: British Art in the 1990s, London: Verso.

Thompson, D. (2008), The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art, London: Arum.

Williams, R. (2005), ‘Advertising: The Magic System’, in Culture and Materialism: Selected Essays, 170-195, London: Verso.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18316/rcd.v9i17.3742


  • Não há apontamentos.


Academic IndexAcademic IndexAcademic Index