Damien Hirst – Noel Fielding tour

| April 3, 2012 | 0 Comments
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By Helen Rowlands Posted 03/04/12







This is about the short documentary by Channel 4 featuring Noel Fielding on Damien Hirst  and the first look at his exhibition in the Tate Gallery.  Noel Fielding interviews Damien and talks about his rise to fame from humble beginnings to the most successful Artist in Britain today.  Damien Hirst is now one the Biggest Artist in the World and was responsible for changing what Art means and what it’s worth today.  Damien became the New Rock’n Roll for Art  and the richest and boldest living artist today. He also changed what people expected to see in an art gallery.

Damien’s New Exhibition has been 4 years in the planning and it was put together onsite.  Six technicians’ helped him put together this exhibition.  The exhibition brings together over 70 of Hirst’s seminal works, including his ground breaking sculptures from the early 1990s and pieces from the painting series – spots, spins, butterflies and flies – produced throughout his career. The Tiger Shark, which was called the “Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, was first exhibited at the Satachi Gallery London.  It was a 12ft Tiger shark, which came from Australia as Damien previously put up wanted posters in Australia and finally his prayers were answered when a Famous Shark hunter Vic Hislock supplied him the shark.  The British tabloids soon picked up on this crazy Artist pickling a shark and putting it in formaldehyde.   Damien was making a metaphor of death with the shark. Damien also tells how he received hate mail, even though children loved his work and many people bought into it.






Damien soon became obsessed with spots and colour and he has painted over 14,000 spot paintings it is also one of the reasons that made him the richest artist today.  Damien seems to have made himself a brand and is one step ahead of us from based in Leeds to Global stardom.  Some of his earliest work in the Exhibition called the Freeze in which Damien helped organise was not a successes for him but was a success for his art friends who went on to sell their work in Galleries.  However Damien demanded to be noticed and went on to making pieces that are a life statement and made work that you couldn’t possible ignore.  In the Tate exhibition there is a picture of Damien in an Anatomy Museum with a real head, the reason he photograph this was because this person’s head and such a lot of character even though he was dead.

In his work a”Thousand Years” 1990, there is a box hatching maggots and flies and a rotting cows head with a neon fly killer all encased in a glass box.  Damien shows the cycle of life showing the sheer naturalism. “In and Out of Love”, is an exhibit with over 2,000 butterflies, some are fixed onto a canvas and others are being born because sometimes butterflies look alive or dead.  Damien also turns cigarettes into a sculpture and is about the ability to escape which is an installation the size of a human body 7ft box.






Another installation is the 12,000 million pills in the “Pharmacy” 1992.  We take over 12,000 million pills and some can make a difference between life and death.  This installation is about the power to believe in legal drugs and how we block the fear of death if we believe in them.






In 1995 Damien Hirst was nominated for the Turner prize, “Mother and Child Divided”.  Which is basically a cow cut in half with a chain saw and put into formaldehyde.  This installation has been resembled on site at the Tate Gallery so you can see the violence and the calm.  This piece is about death, how you cannot avoid it so you need to confront things. Extract Taken from Damien owns website: The artist explains, “In a way, you understand more about living people by dealing with dead people. It’s sad but you feel more … my cows cut up in formaldehyde have more personality than any cows walking about in fields.”

Throughout the documentary there are friends, art critics who give their opinion about Damien’s Art work.  On the eve of 2008, when the global markets started to collapse, Damien decided to sell his own art work at Sotheby’s and it turned out to be a stroke of luck because it went on to earn him 111 million pounds which is currently a record for an living artist.






The most expensive piece which has ever been exhibited in the Tate is the Diamond skull, “For the Love of God”.  This is the most expensive piece which has 8,601 diamonds and cost 14 million to make and it’s currently worth 50 million.  It is housed in a vault with guards and only a small number of visitors can see it at any one time.  Platinum, diamonds and human teeth








In the Tate’s exhibition is some of Damien Hirst Kaleidoscope paintings which are very beautiful.  The works are made by placing thousands of different coloured butterfly wings in an intricate geometric patterns into household paint.  The Art work is based upon stain glass windows with their religious symmetry and imagery.  If you want to read more about Damien Hirst work go to his web page at Damien Hirst.

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Category: Art News