These days artists like Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin are major celebrities. But Gregor Muir knew them at the start; his unique memoir chronicles the birth of Young British Art. Muir, YBA’s ‘embedded journalist’, happened to be in Shoreditch and Hoxton before Jay Jopling arrived with his White Cube Gallery, when this was still a semi-derelict landscape of grotty pubs and squats. There he witnessed, amid a whirl of drunkenness, scrapes and riotous hedonism, the coming-together of a remarkable array of young artists – Hirst, the Chapman brothers, Rachel Whiteread, Sam Taylor-Wood, Angus Fairhurst - who went on to produce a fresh, irreverent, often notorious form of art - Hirst’s shark, Sarah Lucas’s two fried eggs and a kebab. By the time of the seminal Sensation show at the Royal Academy YBA had changed the art world for ever.
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About the Author
Gregor Muir is the Executive Director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Previously, he has been director of Hauser & Wirth (London), the contemporary art gallery, and Kramlich Curator of Contemporary Art at the Tate where he curated several exhibitions and museum displays, and was responsible for numerous acquisitions of contemporary art for Tate Collections. Muir curated YBA group shows such as 'Lucky Kunst' and 'Liar'. He has been a critic and writer for various cutting-edge publications such as Dazed & Confused, Parkett and Frieze magazine.