Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Damien Hirst with Mother and Child DividedCredit: Damien Hirst Asked about the inspiration, West said: “We had a lot of people in mind. A lot of the interview we filmed [during a scene in the gallery] was taken from various interviews with great international artists who we looked at in great detail.” “I think they’re pretty scary, these guys, the incredibly knowledgeable artists who cannot be disputed because they’re talking about art, which is something there’s no definite answer to.”So I’d be quite scared of meeting someone like that. Also, because they’re so powerful and so rich.”The film also stars Elisabeth Moss as a journalist covering the world of contemporary art, and a half-bonobo ape who appears in her apartment without explanation.Bang, who also acted in the scenes, described how the animal came with a long list of instructions on how to behave, including not to look it in the eye or run away.Ruben Ostlund, the director, added: “Anything can happen in a movie when a monkey appears in an apartment. “I love monkeys and I think human beings love looking at monkeys because you’re seeing yourself reflected in them.”Telegraph reviewer Robbie Collin awarded the film four stars. The front runner for the character’s inspiration is Julian Schnabel, the American artist who is, like the fictional on-screen Julian, known for wearing tinted glasses and pyjamas in the day time.Other contenders naturally include Damien Hirst, the best-known of his generation of provocative contemporary artists and no stranger to works some members of the public have found baffling. In one scene of the film, a cleaner sweeps away an art installation by West’s character.It echoes a real-life event in 2001, when an installation by Damien Hirst was thrown away by a cleaner at the Eyestorm gallery, London, who had mistaken the piles of full ashtrays, empty beer bottles and newspapers were the remnants of a party the night before. In a press conference, West claimed he could not remember who precisely his version of “Julian” was based on, but admitted: “I’m sure you can guess…my clothes give it away.”His co-star Claes Bang confirmed that one of the clues was in the name – Julian. The contemporary art world has never been short of gossip.The Cannes Film Festival yesterday provided the inspiration behind a brand new controversy: just who are the mystery artists sent up on screen?Dominic West, the actor, disclosed he had based his character in The Square, a satire of the art world, on real-life contemporary artists, with works including a pile of gravel and a neon sign reading: “You have nothing”.
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