Damien Hirst // The Dead (Silver Gloss/Topaz Skull) // 2009
Damien Hirst (b. 1965) is the most prominent of the Young British Artists (YBAs) that emerged in the 1990s. This group first gained notoriety when British advertising magnate and collector Charles Saatchi began buying and showing their work in his galleries. Like many of the YBAs, Hirst confronts big themes head on— including subjects of life, death, science, and religion. His mixed-media sculptures are created from a frequently controversial assortment of formaldehyde-suspended carcasses, cigarette butts, pharmaceutical packaging, and surgical instruments, often encased in glass vitrines.
The earliest Hirst works to attract critical attention were his so-called “spot paintings," which were composed of hundreds of identically sized colored spots aligned into grids and named after controlled substances. In the Warholian tradition of repetitive, serial images, these unashamedly formulaic paintings use simple, cheerful means to suggest anxious questions, such as: Is art a drug? Do drugs heal or harm? Following the spot paintings, Hirst pushed further into this thematic territory by creating a series of medicine cabinets filled with drug bottles and pharmaceutical packaging, both old and new, symbolizing art’s reputed healing power.
28.375 "L x 20.125 "H
- OriginUnited States
— Foil Block Print In Colors
— Arches 88 Paper
— Edition of 15
— Signed By Artist
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