Saturday 2 June 2007

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, "ethically sourced"

At the White Cube Gallery in a very posh area of London Damien Hirst was showing or pehaps I should say hiding one his latest works - A diamond encrusted 18th Century skull
Over 8,601 diamonds glued to platinium cast which cost 14 million pounds Damien seeks 50 million pounds for the art piece.The centrepiece of the Artists creation is a pear-shaped pink diamond, set in the skull's forehead The skull, cast from a 35-year-old 18th-century European male, is coated with 8,601 diamonds, including a large pink diamond worth more than $8 million in the center of its forehead.
The skull, which was bought from a shop in Islington, north London, is thought to belong to a 35-year-old European who lived between 1720 and 1810.
Damien thought "what could be the maximum comment I (he) could make about Anti death that could be created.....then he thought what could be the biggest celebration I could do sort of against death"

If his work sells it would set a new record price for an artwork by a living artist. A commentator likens its exclusivity to the crown jewels, difficult to put a price on it ?

The BBC Camera (video on this page) was prevented from going any further, so the video footage of the work is a piece of private encapsulated footage edited into their news clip.

The work is in another location in the building, the Gallerist mentions that the location. "Looks like something you would dance around in an ethics disco and the whole atmosphere is like a night club Each viewer is individually escorted by Security Guards and you go down in a lift were the numbers of the floors on the control panel in the lift are hidden. and its place is like entering a go down into a darkened room and there's black every where and all the bouncers (security guards) are all dressed in black then you have in an ordinance (some sort of display case) in which the audacious work is in."

So what used to be the head of a 35 year old man has become a statement about death and all thats left of him are his teeth.

"It was very important to put the real teeth back. Like the animals in formaldehyde you have got an actual animal in there. It is not a representation. I wanted it to be real," he said.

The skull is missing one tooth, which Hirst initially replaced with a gold one and then decided to leave out.

"We felt we didn't need it, so we took it out. It feels sort of human and quirky," he said.
The artist said that he was inspired by an Aztec turquoise skull at the British Museum, and hopes that his work will eventually be displayed at the institution. He rejected suggestions that his works were more a standing joke against the art establishment than real works of art.

"I've stopped worrying about what art is. There is good art, bad art, indifferent art. It is art but it is more timeless than contemporary art," he said.

Two other Artists in my memory that have created similarly exotically produced Art Works are Michelangelo and Christo who funds his projects chiefly from the sale of his drawings.. There are probably heaps more (perhaps you could enlighten me in the comments). who have achieved similarly poignant statements.
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