One of the hallmarks of modern art has always been a certain shock appeal, a challenge to the limits of conventional taste. Ironically, the furor which first greeted works like Manet’s "Olympia," or Stravinky’s "Rite of Spring," had the effect of elevating, rather than ruining, the reputation of the artists involved. History repeated itself when then-Mayor Rudolph Guliani attempted to shut down a 1999 show of cutting-edge British art at the Brooklyn Museum, an effort which served only to boost attendance at the exhibit and spotlight the careers of the artists involved. Damien Hirst was one of those artists, and his purposely provoking creations — like installations featuring live flies and dead cows — have continued to both outrage and intrigue the art world. Now, at 40, perhaps the most famous artist of his generation, his latest works are currently featured, along with those of two of his contemporaries, in an ambitious new show at the Tate Gallery in London. KUOW art critic Gary Faigin took in the show, and here is his reaction.