Author(s): Gregor Muir
These days artists like Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin are big business and major celebrities. But Gregor Muir knew them at the start of their careers - before people even talked about a movement called YBA. His unique memoir is the first history of the birth of the Young British Artists, and a slice of London subculture. Muir - who now runs a major London gallery - describes himself accurately as YBA's 'embedded journalist'. He was the only writer who happened to be in Shoreditch and Hoxton at the time when the White Cube Gallery was founded, and at that unique moment of recent history when a remarkable array of young artists - Hirst, the Chapman brothers, Sarah Lucas, Rachel Whiteread, Sam Taylor-Wood - all came together to produce a fresh, irreverent, wacky and quickly enormously popular form of art.Often it was notorious - Hirst's shark, Whiteread's House, Lucas' two fried eggs and a kebab - and incredibly newsworthy. Their hedonistic riotous world grew up in a then forgotten, down-at-heel part of East London. Back then Shoreditch was full of squats and grotty pubs, not groovy nightclubs. First published 2009.
"* 'An absorbing and intelligent account of the times, this is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary art or the 1990s Brit Scene' Bookseller"
Gregor Muir now runs the London art gallery Hauser and Wirth.