Sunday, February 6, 2011

Damien, Damien

New Exhibition:  Damien Hirst, "Forgotten Promises", at the inaugural show of the Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong (January 18 - March 19)

The art world loves to hate Damien Hirst because we usually secretly despise those with more money than us.  Hirst as an artist is an ultimate symbol of luxury, decadence, and capitalism, something we attribute only to very few other artists, namely Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, and perhaps Julian Schnabel.  But what others find an affront to the delicate, creative nature of art, I find amusing and even, dare I say it, a little genius.  

Hirst has become known for many scandals around the art world, particularly works involving taxidermy and formaldehyde, and of course, the million dollar diamond human skull piece, "For the Love of God". (Please see more info on wikipedia).  

For the Love of God

Hirst has simply, in my opinion, challenged the world to acknowledge its own vulgarities and hypocrisy.  After the market crash, Hirst recently took his finances into his own hands, and put his works in the major auctions himself, cutting out the middle man of a gallery, and reaping gigantic financial rewards.  He serves as an iconoclastic hero to me, for his repugnance to others as well as his Napoleon-istic sense of ambition.  

For Heaven's Sake

Damien Hirst is currently having a show which, true-to-form, is controversial.  Located in the Gagosian Gallery in Hong Kong, Hirst's best hits are there, like butterfly wing pieces.  The up-in-arms factor, however, is this child's-size human skull, decorated ala-his-previous-skull-piece, which apparently came in a set of Victorian collection of bones.   People, he didn't go out and kill a kid.  Calm down.  What I think he is trying to say is that these days simply pushing the envelope a little is not enough.  In order to reveal something about our society, you have to hold up the fetish/commodity/luxury mirror very close to show something really grotesque.  And yes, I know he probably did it for shock value and self reference.  That's the point though, right?

Images from google

1 comment:

  1. i love this post and totally agree about good ole damien.