Two of Britain’s most celebrated artists are locking horns in a war of words as they prepare to launch large-scale retrospective exhibitions in London this year. One smoking traditionalist and one modernist eccentric, two people from two very different schools of thought.

David Hockney, who famously refused to paint The Queen or accept a knighthood, must have been surprised when he was awarded the Order Of Merit, taking good friend, Lucien Freud’s place on the uber-exclusive 24-strong membership a few days ago. It seems this newfound position amongst the higher echelons of society has made the outspoken Yorkshire-based draughtsman even more forthright with his views.

Hockney’s swipe at Hirst came on the poster for his new exhibition, A Bigger Picture, opening at the Royal Academy of Arts later this month with the cheeky message; ‘all the works here were made by the artist himself, personally.’ Damien Hirst has never hid the fact that he employs others to work on his creations for him, famously saying (if not in the best of the Queen’s English), “I couldn’t be fucking arsed doing it.”

The London jeweler Bentley & Skinner made Hirst’s infamous platinum and diamond skull, ‘For the Love of God’, which became the most expensive modern work sold and group of taxidermists were responsible for his pickled shark, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.’

So who is right? Is Hirst the only one who uses others talents? No. Sculptor Anthony Gormley, Mark Wallinger, Jeff Koons and even the great Andy Warhol have had the help of others in the past, but does this make it right? Who would win in an Art Attack between Hockney and Hirst? What is a ‘real’ craftsman in today’s world of technology taking over tradition?

Let THINK-WORK-PLAY what you think on their Facebook page here and let them know who gets your vote in Art Attack: David Hockney vs. David Hirst.

David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy of Arts runs from 21 January to 9 April.

The Damien Hirst exhibition, part of the Cultural Olympiad’s London 2012 festival, runs at Tate Modern from 4 April to 9 September.

Source: THINK-WORK-PLAY