31.10.07

{happy halloween!}

Couldn’t think of a more fitting artist for a Halloween post than Damien Hirst, an artist born in Bristol to a lapsed Catholic mother and a mechanic/car salesman father who left their family when he was only 12 years old.

Despite his humble beginnings, (or perhaps because of them), Hirst would later become the most extravagant living artist in the world.

Damien Hirst's work centers around death as its main theme. The artist is best known for his Natural History series, in which dead animals (a shark, a sheep or a cow) are preserved in

formaldehyde.

In May 2007, Hirst exhibited his latest work, Beyond Belief, at the
White Cube gallery in London. The centre of this exhibition was a Memento Mori titled For The Love of God, which featured a human skull recreated in platinum and adorned with 8,601 diamonds weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats. Approximately £15,000,000 ($30,944,726.60 USD) worth of diamonds were used. The work was based on an 18th century skull, with the original teeth incorporated into the artwork. The work's title comes from Hirst's mother who asked him, “For the love of God, what are you going to do next?”

This piece, which was cast from an 18th-century skull he bought in London, was influenced by Mexican skulls encrusted in turquoise. “I remember thinking it would be great to do a diamond one — but just prohibitively expensive,” he recalls. “Then I started to think — maybe that’s why it is a good thing to do. Death is such a heavy subject, it would be good to make something that laughed in the face of it.”
{from the NY Times}

On
August 30, 2007, For the Love of God sold for £50,000,000 (100 million dollars or 75 million euros), giving the piece the auction record for the most expensive work of art by a living artist.

White Cube gallery sold several limited-edition silkscreen prints of this work, priced from £900 to £10,000, for one sprinkled with diamond dust.

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8 Comments:

Anonymous melissa @ the inspired room said...

A perfect post!

xo,
melissa

October 31, 2007  
Blogger Mrs. Blandings said...

Funny, I was just reading about this piece in Art & Antiques while getting my hair "done." It's truly facinating. A shark in formaldehyde I can appreciate, but might not want to own. This little number I could probably find a spot for. Even with the human teeth.

October 31, 2007  
Blogger design for mankind. said...

Ahh, thanks for all the background behind this artist. I just LOVE knowing that there's a real live human with an actual personality behind this amazing design! :)

October 31, 2007  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thanks, Melissa :)

October 31, 2007  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

LOL Mrs. Blandings--funny how the human teeth don't seem quite as bad surrounded by all those diamonds :)

October 31, 2007  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

DFM--thanks for visiting--I thought that since he's such an interesting person and this particular piece had such a great background, it would make for good reading :)

October 31, 2007  
Blogger All Things Bright and Beautiful....Creative Flair Chic said...

I had heard lots about this piece but not actually seen the final work - very interesting post.
Just sent you an email re. tomorrrow :-)

November 01, 2007  
Blogger {this is glamorous} said...

Thanks, CFC--also for the e-mail :)

November 01, 2007  

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