Category: Damien Hirst

Artists Damien Hirst’s Unusual Work Made Him Richest Artist In England

Damien Hirst is most likely the richest artists in the United Kingdom with an estimated net worth of 215 million British Pounds, or roughly one-half billion in U.S. dollars. Much of his work in centered around shocking images of dead animals.

A classic example of a Damien Hirst work is a large tank in which a dead calf is suspended in formaldehyde. Perhaps his best-known work it titled, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” This piece is a 14-foot tiger shark also suspended in formaldehyde inside a vitrine display case.

Born in 1965 in Bristol, Hirst became a prominent member of a group called the Young British Artists. This was a lose group of visual artists that began to display their work in 1988.

To say that the art of Damien Hirst is unusual would be a vast understatement. An example is a creation for which he won the prestigious Turner Award. The work featured dead cows suspended in tanks of embalming fluids, but an original non-embalmed creation featured rotting cows. The work was banned by New York health officials because they feared it would cause public vomiting. He sold the piece for more than $55 million.

It was this work that made Hirst a world-renowned figure in the art world.

Although much of Hirst’s work consists of dead animals displayed in various states of suspended death, he also creates “spin paintings” and other creations that might be considered more traditional forms of art.

His career has also been controversial on a number of levels, and not just because of the highly unusual subject matter of his work. For example, Hirst sent shock waves through the art world in 2008 when he sold a complete show of his work at Sotheby’s while bypassing galleries.

The sale netted him nearly $200 million, but also caused outrage among Hirst collectors because of the negative price effect is had on his completed works.

Damien Hirst Reveals A New And Unique Exhibit

A shipwreck was discovered by divers in 2008 off the African coast and Damien Hirst was enlisted for funding so the ancient artifacts could be recovered. The impressive finds had been collected by a freed slave named Cif Amotan II and included a severed head of Medusa and several statues of pharaohs. The treasure dates back two millennia and was sent to an island museum. The treasure has now been organized by Damien Hirst and the exhibition in Venice even includes coral-encrusted statues of Goofy and Mickey Mouse. This exhibition represents Hirst’s first major showing in well over ten years. Ersatz artifacts are paired with a fictional backstory. Staged videos of the fake treasures being excavated by divers support the exhibit. The ancient statues show the faces of Rihanna and Kate Moss and restored and encrusted versions of the artifacts are on display. The show has been dubbed Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable.

The exhibit is a financial risk for Damien Hirst. According to the New York Times he has invested millions. The exhibit sprawls across Punta Della Dogana, Palazzo Grassi, and François Pinault. His irony is similar to Tom Sachs although Hirst’s humor is more kitschy. Hirst has taken his exhibit to new extremes and done so on a Hollywood budget. For more details on Damien Hirst’s exhibit please visit https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonathonkeats/2017/04/10/damien-hirst/#101c4a3f26ec.

The production scale is already being compared to Cecil B. DeMille but the audacity of the showmanship he uses is similar to P.T. Barnum. The exhibit is being called a spectacle that goes well beyond the world of art. This is what gives Damien Hirst’s work a meaningful impact. In an era where truth has been metastasized into blatantly fake news this assault on the credulity of art has artistic originality. Only time will reveal if he has hit his mark.