05.12.08 by Jeff

Valerie Hegarty

If Beautiful/Decay is looking for artwork to represent the title of their publication, here it is! The beautifully decayed artwork of Valerie Hegarty.

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

valerie hegarty booooooom blog artist art

Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • Awesome man. Great find. Love it.

  • damn thats sick… ++ !

  • i especially love the one with the crack going right down the wall and through the painting.

  • that’s my favorite too! and the second one. just lovely. and sad.

  • Dan

    Can your RSS please feature the complete post featuring all the images?

  • Alicia


  • some people just come up with the best ideas…

  • I’ve believe I’ve seen one of her pieces at the brooklyn museum; third from the bottom. It is something you must see in person, amazing stuff

  • Mark

    Amazing? smbdy bought a painting, put it on fire for a few minutes and here we are…new AWSOME art style…
    If this is art, everybody in this ARTISTIC world is a darn artist!
    I can paint my cat, put him in my washing machine with my underwear and get a TRULY amazing ARTWORK…even more beautiful than this :D

  • J TOV

    I actually find this art bad. It kinda sucks

  • Joshua Ludd

    Easily some of the best art I have seen in a long time. Not so hot on the Rothko or the idea of imitations of other art, but the concept of decay embodied here is amazing and beautiful.

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  • Cessie

    While I have to say, the artist did seem to take the principles of design into the destruction of her work, I don’t really find burning or shooting bullets into a canvas particularly fascinating or noteworthy.

    The only piece I find eye-catching is the second one with the picture frame and branches; it took more skill and thought than her other works and the two media mix well together. If she’d done more pieces like the second one I’d be more impressed.

    As it stands, however… anyone can set fire to crappy hotel art.

  • Ken

    Hate to rain on everyone’s parade, but can someone explain to me the appeal of this? I think art is pretty anything anyone says it is, these days, but this is just ridiculous, to me – I mean, a lot of the pieces look amazing, in its first form, but decaying and destroying it is considered an improvement? I’m all about the grunge and decay art form but… this is taking it a bit far, I think.

  • Kyle

    Wow, just wow!

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  • Soloman

    The fact that nobody understand you doesn’t mean you’re an artist.

  • Ken

    Funny how all the even slightly disheartening comments are deleted. Nothing like a little shameless promotion, hmm?

  • i haven’t deleted a single comment, not sure what you’re talking about. This is an open discussion.

  • Ken

    Perhaps it’s a browser problem – last time I came here to comment, all of the ones responding to me and the one I made were all gone.
    Now they’re suddenly back. What’s going on?

  • It’s a caching thing, we were just hit by over 10,000 users from stumbleupon so we had to change the way the page was caching it wasn’t just your comments any comments made during that time dissappeared – which is why the site was offline last night – still adjusting to all this traffic.

  • Ken

    No, I mean select comments seemed to be removed. Not to mention Cessie’s comment somehow ended up before mine when I got the email about it after I made my comment.

  • I am not the tech guy here so I can’t explain all the mumbo jumbo but I have not deleted your comments. I am promoting community here on the site and discussion about artwork shown so naturally I endorse people having differing opinions. Thanks for participating and know that you can freely voice your opinion.

  • oh my god, this is awesome!

  • JoeyD

    Ken, I hate to break this to you but your kind of a dick. Heres an idea quit bitching and see if you can put something together thats artistic.

  • It’s a little funny how people are inspired enough to spend time looking and then comment, and then say it’s not ART. Really, i mean all ART is subjective to the viewer. The sense I get is that despite the beauty of anything; time, war and deterioration still rule us all! Sadly:( This makes me Think about ART that hung on walls of post war ravaged Europe, or maybe New Orleans!?

    • Joey it’s okay to disagree with him, lets not stoop to personal attacks – please keep the discussion to the artwork itself. cheers

  • Ken

    Hey, I was just curious, at first, and then it seemed comments were missing so I’d point it out.
    You see, I’d post something, I’d call it art, and then I’d be wrought with the same kinds of questions.
    I’d hold you to that but two things keep me from doing so: 1) the fact that you won’t care enough to seek it out, and 2) I really don’t care enough to really prove anything to anyone. I could slap a couple of squares together on a canvas and I could call it art and I do not care to get tied up in such things without inspiration – other than to say I can do it.

  • Alli

    I really enjoyed this, i think it is a unique way of looking at art. I think it’s a very interesting quality when someone is able to find beauty in things that may not seem beautiful to the naked eye. My favorite was the crack through the wall/picture.
    Ken: grow up! your comment is back, why make a deal out of it.

  • kev

    I strongly disagree with all of the negative feedback,
    I think the work is incredibly original, dramatic and hard hitting, fantastic job!

  • Kyle

    The server needed to be put in “lock down” mode which means no comments were showing up. Sorry about that! Should be back to normal now.

  • Me

    anything a 12 year old can do with a pack of matches and some gasoline shouldn’t be called art…come on. this is pathetic. Quite taking LSD and do something inspiring. Weak.

  • Scott

    Anyone who doesn’t like this should just stop looking, shut the hell up and move on! I guess It’s only the artistic who understand, appreciate, and enjoy real art. Sorry it’s not a “wicked cool painting” on the side of a van to which your buddy refers to as “tits”. Or a velvet painting of Elvis, and not even the good Elvis, the Fat 70s Elvis!Ignorant morons will always be ignorant morons. Unfortunately they figured out how to use the computer! …whew, that felt good.

  • Ken

    Hope it felt orgasmic. For the generic we missed, you missed horribly with yours. I happen to like art – but like music, certain types just don’t sit well with me. For example, I was trying to have someone explain the appeal of the pieces to me and then found a problem with a system glitch. Suddenly, it becomes a mudslinging fight between who does and doesn’t know art.
    Just because I don’t like this selection doesn’t mean I’m some sort of idiot. Scott, you seem to have some sort of disposition that comes from past experience. Sorry to hear that you’ve had such a bad run with ignorant people, but there’s no need to take it out here.

    By the way, Scott, this page can be Stumbled. I’m sure that’s how you came across it. Respect that people can mistakenly come and see this and feel that their opinion must be heard, just like you did.

  • John Pee

    Ha ha ha!
    Then my dirty trouser can fine art, in a exhibition full of snob people like you may be…
    NOT just because a bunch of birdheads agrees that a dirty trouser with poo is ART?????

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    your dirty trousers, or cat for that matter, can possibly be art if someone as careful in destructing as talented in construction make due effort to evoke such a feeling of loss of beauty in our times. Type or lack of material does not make something or prevent it from being art.

  • Sanna


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  • Austin

    This is art? Looks like someone just set things on fire. Even I can do that.

  • Alli

    well then go ahead and do it and stop sitting around complaining about what others chose to do with their time.

  • Cessie

    While I’m excited there are two general opinions on Hegarty’s artwork, I’m disappointed that many of those in favor of it are discouraging its criticism or–in more puerile accounts–verbally attacking those in opposition.

    One of art’s biggest impacts is how it affects those who view it. Simply because someone disagrees with your own personal opinion, or your own personal definition of art, doesn’t take away their right to speak or discuss.

    That being said (regardless of whether you are in favor or not of Hegarty’s work, or any other artists’), taking the “appreciate it or leave” stance stunts discussion and critique. Even worse, it usually makes a debate into a childish flame war.

    tl;dr: Grow up.

  • poomerchant

    i’m pretty sure these are ‘shopped.

  • Soni

    While a few of them were amusing (1st, 2nd, and the cracked wall,) the junk lying on the ground?? Seriously? That’s not art anymore, that’s a mess…But to each their own, I prefer my art intact.

  • Good points Cessie. I agree with you – I think that the discussion of work like this is the most important part!

    Like when Marcel Duchamp famously brought the urinal into the gallery space – the outrage and discussion that began regarding the idea of “real art” vs an object was an important moment in art history.

    Comments like Soni’s above are interesting to me because people seem to have an idea when something IS art and when it ISN’T – Perhaps the piece in question is too messy or too easily created or too similar to something else. All points i can identify with having been to art school and being frustrated by the lack of craftsmanship or originality present in many pieces I had to critique in a gallery setting.

    This discussion reminds me of Sherrie Levine’s work – she was the one who photographed Van Gogh paintings right out of a book and showed them as untitled photographs, and made paintings directly based off of Fernand Léger and also made her own urinal based on Duchamp’s.

    If you made a copy of the Mona Lisa would your copy be ineligible as a true work of art because it was a copy? How do we decide when something is “original” or “new”? What original ideas are left? How can you make anything that isn’t a reference to something else?

    These are all questions that seem to be at the heart of this discussion. I am always fascinated by art that has a really polarizing effect – people strongly opposing and defending it.

    I have read about Valerie Hegarty’s work – I just wanted to mention that she isn’t merely setting fire to other people’s work sometimes she actually re-creates the painting and then carefully destroys it. I am not saying that as a way of convincing you that it is in fact art – just more information about what you’re looking at.

    I just wanted to chime in, feel free to continue this discussion!

  • Cessie

    Of course, what I’ve found with much of how people define art is how much work, or thought, or time was put into the artwork.

    On your point of Sherrie Levine, Jeff–if I remember right–there was a huge debate over her work because, while she copied other works, she defended that the exact exposure, lighting, ect., to achieve an exact copy was extremely difficult. But even then, I don’t think I would feel that was at all justified if it were my artwork she copied.

    Good to know that some of the work destroyed is in fact Hegarty’s, but I still personally believe her second image holds the most promise as far as exploring this idea goes.

  • As an artist, it is not an art form that I would do, but I would defend her right to do it. It’s just like free speech. There are as many ideas about what is art (religion, politics, literature, morals… fill in the blank) as there are people. Personally, I just prefer to create artwork that is more uplifting. I will admit that it gives me a twinge of artistic angst, though.

  • These are really interesting. I love the second one. Although it would be inspiring to see these works in person, I don’t know where they would be displayed other than a museum or a gallery, and that strikes a sour chord for me.

  • Kenneth

    While I’m not a big fan of this particular type of art, I do, however, find a certain interest in urban decay. I know it takes a certain kind of creativity to see art here, and I can see why some may find this art appealing. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be number five, simply because it gives a sense of the poor quality of the building the picture is in. This may not be an empty lot scattered with old debris, but I might still find some middling interest in seeing that particular piece in person. Nice work =).

  • Alicia

    True beauty.

  • CMK

    pretty awesome stuff, i particularly enjoyed the frame twisting into branches? & the red & yellow one, tho it seemed a little out of place

  • Sandy

    I don’t scoff at innovative art, just at the high price tag placed on it when it truly is something that anyone can create. I don’t place as much importance on say Jackson Pollock’s work when I can imagine just as many images in a variegated floor treatment on the Womens restroom floor at Walmart. My words may not sit well with some, but art truly is in the eye of the beholder and if you can only accept appreciation or criticism from the self-styled sophisticates and you lack the ability to speak the to rest of us, is that our fault? Though I would not desire to have any of these in my home it is still interesting to see what new and different things people are up to. The one with the branches is also my favorite.

  • ^ I agree with everything you have said here.

  • amazing stuff. thanks again for turning me on to a new artist.

  • Dan

    The first story I comment on happens to be a particularly controversial one, with 42 emails noticing me of new comments. Nice!

  • aidan

    beautiful and intriguing !

  • You morons don’t know shit about art. You think it’s easy to just create a piece that is visually appealing? J Tov you don’t even know. YOUR MAAAAMAAA!

  • rockhead

    Destruction does not equal art. This is a good example of a frustrated person who could never make it by being a creative artist. This “artwork” is lazy.

  • OverAcheiver

    I actually purchased some art like this that I found on mastepieceonline.com not too long ago.

  • This is very cool.

  • ftab

    this stuff isnt art, its junk from a landfill.

  • Kid A

    For those of you who say “I could do this” or “my 5-year-old can do what Pollack did” I invite you to try. I bet you’ll find it is quite a bit more difficult than you’d think. And you haven’t seen a Pollack until you’ve seen it in person. It is stunning to see.

    It’s sad that people instantly categorize art into technical categories. “Easy.” “Hard.” I’d rather listen to Son House’s delta blues music than Steve Vai 99% of the time, because Son House is a better communicator. That’s what art is about, communication between the artist and the audience. And this art is more relevant to me and our society than some painting of David with Goliath’s head. That painting may be technically and historically relevant, but Hegarty’s work makes me FEEL. Art isn’t bad when it’s easy or obvious. It’s bad when it doesn’t communicate, move you to think or feel.

    So what does this art communicate to you when you let your personal barriers down? For those who like this, I’d recommend the film “Decasia: The State of Decay” by Bill Morrison. It’s the documentary film equivalent.

  • Art is bad when it simply ends at clever and doesn’t go any further.

  • nate

    these are totally photoshopped…you can use the dodge/burn tool effect to get this in 5 minutes

    • Majenica

      you’re an idiot.

  • Excellent installations!

  • webbie


  • Z

    For everyone that loves your art, you will always find another that hates it. Its sad really that they go out of their way to be so cruel. But i suppose its part of the business.
    This artwork is intense. there is alot of emotion to it & im in love with how creative you are!! Its so refreshing.

  • Oh! I’ve seen the first one!!! It makes a HUGE impact when you see it “live” x)
    Well, there’s still people that say stuff like “my 5 year old son can do that”????
    Once I was at Musee d’Orsay in Paris and I saw a woman in front of a pointillistic painting and she said “NOOOOOW, THIS IS ART!”. I remember it cause the woman was speaking brazilian portuguese and that was one of those moments when I felt really ashamed of my country.
    Don’t forget… technique is ONLY A TOOL and it does not matter if something is hard or easy to make because true art lives at the concept.

  • and, by the way, Kid A…. you rock x)

  • Margot

    why do people have to have such issues with this? its an original idea that took time and effort to put together, yet theyre quite happy to write it off because he doesnt appeal to theyre particular idea of what art should be. hmm.

  • veri

    i like fire, play with fire;
    fire doesn’t burn so interestingly
    unless you’re a witch or at the very least, an alchemist.
    either way this is great crafting.

  • Lex

    I don’t see why some people are under the impression that because something is not impossibly difficult or can not be taught in a traditional painting or sculpting class it’s not art. Isn’t art about the image, message, inspiration, idea, etc.?

  • Sand

    i really like the one w/ the gunshots, cuz it is sooo creative.

  • Hillary Duff

    I was just stumbling along in my Firefox browser, here in LA, and I came across this wonderful site. These paintings are wonderful, and the decaying is magical, and so relevant to today’s society. When i first saw the image of this picture, I thought: “wow, archaeologists have discovered paintings from many years ago!” But when I looked closer, I realized that this was real true art. Art that I would be happy to have in my hope, and I am even thinking of getting a piece of work from this very talented artist. I may be a star, and you may think I have little but air in my head, but I know a thing or two about art.

  • how is this not art?
    destroying a piece is all in the process and thats what is important in these pieces
    think about the process of decay and how this work symbolizes it.

  • ladders

    as for me i love it..truly unique and amazing design…thumbs up!

  • ArtLover

    That is some very interesting art. Thanks for the http://www.masterpieceonline.com suggestion overacheiver, as I just found a smiliar piece for my Grandma and she loves it!

  • AnthonyBrato

    I like this

  • rcon303

    i love it!
    glad to see and artist
    have some nerve and
    lovely destruction

  • Majenica

    “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.”-Andy Warhol

    -sums it all up.

    I believe that EVERYTHING is art… if it evokes an emotion or a feeling from within your soul… whether it be hate, love, or something in-between… that is the true point of art.
    -to stir you.

    make you see or think differently.

    this is interesting work… it really shows the ole addage, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. :) what we must all become.

  • Sinuhue

    This stuff is interesting to me and sure it’s art. Why not? Still I think it would get old fast if it was hanging in your house. Once you’ve absorbed the intial effect there isn’t much there.

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  • that’s awesome, it must take a lot of work to get the effects, haunting.


    to really appreciate the idea/message behind something you need to analyze it first. this is not just burnt or shot up work, when you see what is happening inside the actual painting is when you get slapped in the face with the message… the ocean spilling out of the burnt bottom of the piece(1st one)?? and the burnt forest with the dried up trees on the burnt wooden frame (6th one)… thats some amazing work, but what i find even more unbelievable is how most people wont even take a second look to really see the whole detail and instead just dismiss this as junk… FAIL

  • northierthanthou.com

    That’s totally fricking awesome.

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