Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Damien Hirst: The First Look

On Monday I watched the Channel 4 programme about the new exhibition opening at the Tate Modern London on Damien Hirst's works, it opens on the 4th of April until 9th September 2012, it was presented by Noel Fielding comedian, actor and also artist, and he had a preview tour around the exhibition and was talked through it by Hirst himself. Like many people I have mixed feelings about Hisrt and his art, on one hand I think that he has a brilliant mind and way of thinking on the other hand I find the way he produces and makes art difficult to understand. 
Hirst is one of the most famous living British artists and is one of the richest living British artist. The exhibition has taken over four years to plan, the work had to be put together on site, not by Hirst himself he had six technicians to do it for him, to paint the famous coloured spots, to fill boxes with tablets and cigarettes, and pickle the shark, cow and calf. Hirst is probably most famous for the controversial work of the cow and the calf that were cut in half and ''pickled'' in formaldehyde, however he has made most of his money from the spot  paintings, probably because they are decorative and desirable and could fit comfortably in most people's homes.  Only 20 of the paintings were originally painted by Hirst himself the rest nearly 400 of them were painted by his ''Army of assistance''.
As Hirst became more famous he had followed in the footsteps of the famous artist Andy Warhol by turning himself into a brand, his ideas that he had only envisioned in his head were behind turned into artworks, paintings and sculptures by his team. In 2008, just before the British banks and economy were about to go into a meltdown Hirst had an auction of some of his works that made £111,000,000, making him one of the richest living British artist's ever. The previous year he had made "For the Love of God", a skull covered in diamonds, that cost over £14 million to make, however it is know worth up to £50 million, in the exhibition it will be in it's own vault and be protected by a team of security guards and only a small group of people will be let in at any one time. 
Although I have mixed feelings about Hisrt's work I do appreciate the deep and meaningful ideas behind his works and how they are not just created for art's sake, like many people think they are, they have true meanings and feelings behind them, for example could the diamond skull be a making humour out of himself and the money that he can make art from and then the money he could make on it. Death is a reoccurring theme/idea in his works, the fear of life and death, and also the beauty, such as the shark, pharmacy 1992, and cigarettes. 
 From the parts of the exhibition that I saw on the programme I really liked the piece "In and out of Love'' which consists of large painted canvas' that have butterflies scattered on them, then in the next room it is filled with living butterflies, that have been born from the cocoon that have been stuck onto a canvas and then the butterflies come out of the cocoon before your eyes. Another butterfly piece that I really liked were  the butterfly stained glass windows, I thought that they were really beautiful and were different to his other darker and sinister works.

Strangely I also really liked the pharmacy collection, where he has collected bottles of medicines, tablets and pill boxes and presented them in an old pharmacy cabinet. Although this piece looks like it could be from a film set or from a real pharmacy I still really liked it, maybe it's the OCD inside me and how I love everything presented in boxes and glass cabinets, and also my love of Joseph Cornell and how he presents things in glass boxes and cabinets, which also reminded me of this. 
From the show I also found out that he has a house with his family in Mexico, and found it really interesting the love and admiration he has for the Mexican culture, and specifically the Mexican Festival of Day of The Dead. He admires the culture and how they celebrate the dead and their lives, instead of the British view on death as we tend to ignore it and sweep it under the rug, and protect children from knowing about death. Where as the Mexican people know and celebrate death form a young age. 
In the programme I think that Hirst made a good point he said, when some one walks into a gallery of modern art they say a monkey could do that or my dad could make that, when you can do a drawing of me that looks like me then your a real artist. I think that this is a relevant and true point that people who don't have an open mind or appreciate art they only think art is only 'good' or 'nice' when it looks realistic and true to life, however not many modern artist work in that way anymore. 
Hirst is a showman and knows how to put on a good show in this case the exhibition the mixture of works from the ones from his days as Goldsmiths college of art to his most modern and newest pieces and collections. 
I think that watching the programme has made me not judge Hirst's work without knowing too much about it, it has made me open my mind to new kinds of art and a new way of viewing them. Although he may not be my new favourite artist and I don't really agree with employing people to make the art, I think that I can understand him more, and I would really like to go and see the exhibition in person, not only to say that I have been there and seen it, but to maybe to understand his views and ideas even more. 
Also when I was researching into Hirst and his works I also found out that he did the album cover art for Red Hot Chili Peppers new album I'm with you, I thought it was interesting that he is know branching out into new types of art, and also how the band appreciate and admire art too. I have seen this album art work a lot and I didn't know that Hirst had created it, but know I look and think about it I think that it is quite obvious that he has created it, as both pills and flies are both reoccurring objects/themes in his works.  
Here are link's to the programmes that I watched:

No comments:

Post a Comment