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Keep It Spotless, 2007


Keep It Spotless, 2007
Household gloss and spray-paint on canvas
214×305 cm (84 1/4 x 120 1/8 inches)
Signed and dated 2007 on the reverse
Sotheby’s New-York: 14 February 2008
USD 1,870,000
Keep It Spotless is a Damien Hirst Pharmaceutical (spot) painting which Banksy has defaced. The spot paintings are among Damien Hirst’s most recognizable and popular works (see below).
The maid who is trying to dissimulate dust behind the spots is the same as the one who appeared on Chalk Farm Road in London in 2006…
Sweep It Under The Carpet, Chalk Farm Road, London, 2006
Sweep it Under the Carpet appeared on a wall on Chalk Farm Road, North London in 2006. It portrays a woman dressed as a maid who is sweeping dirt under the cover of a brick wall. The work is said to represent the reluctance of the Western world to deal with global issues such as poverty, or other issues dear to Banksy.
Those red bricks have been painted on the white wall of the White Cube gallery. The gallery let the painting stay for a while but eventually removed it.
The same artistic concept was also illustrated at Barely Legal, Banksy‘s exhibition in Los Angeles, where he showed a painted Elephant to illustrate what is considered as an “Elephant in the Room”.
An Elephant in the Room, Barely Legal, Los Angeles, 2006
‘There’s an elephant in the room. There’s a problem we never talk about.’
The statement went on to say there were billions of people living below the poverty line. With this piece Banksy upholds his unique delivery of messages through his artwork. He once again tackled a critical, and often ignored, issue that plagues the world today – forcing his diverse population of fans to question and/or challenge the status quo.

‘In the bad old days, it was only popes and princes who had the money to pay for their portraits to be painted, this is a portrait of a maid called Leanne who cleaned my room in a Los Angeles motel. She was quite a feisty lady.’


Damien Hirst is one of the most successful and controversial living British artists. He created his very first spot painting while he was still a student in 1986 at London’s Goldsmiths College. Today, there are about 1000 spot paintings in the world of different sizes, shapes, and colors, most of them have been painted by Hirst‘s Gallery Assistants.

Spot paintings
are monochromatic canvases featuring orderly rows of perfectly rounded, glossy spots painted in a range of different bright colors, and with different sizes.
On January 2012, Damien Hirst’s spot painting show was opened on all of Gagosian Gallery’s eleven locations in New York, London, Paris, Los Angeles, Rome, Athens, Geneva and Hong Kong. More than 150 private individuals or public institutions from twenty countries provided their paintings to create this single exhibition in different countries.

More than 300 paintings were shown, from the first spot, created by Hirst in 1986, to the smallest spot painting comprising half a spot and measuring 1 x 1/2 inch (1996); to a monumental work comprising only four spots, each 60 inches in diameter; and up to the most recent spot painting completed in 2011 containing 25,781 spots that are each 1 millimeter in diameter, with no single color ever repeated. The exhibition preceded the first major museum retrospective of Hirst’s work opening at Tate Modern in London in April 2012.
Those visitors who manage to see all eleven galleries spread on three continents until February 10, 2012, received a signed spot print by Damien Hirst with a personal dedication.