Damien Hirst at the Tate Modern: London

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Damien Hirst sure knows how to get double takes. From spliced cows to bedazzled medicine cabinets filled with cigarette butts, Hirst’s work has an ability to captivate the masses with a pop art style that’s contemporarily kitschy (in my opinion). He is a modern Picasso in the sense that he is not actually the inventor of the style of his work but is acknowledged as the forefather. Don’t believe me? Read this. Now, please don’t cry because you thought Hirst was an original and feel violated by his fraudulent originality. Many of the “greats” ripped straight from their pupils and peers. Think Edison and Tesla, or Ringo and the Beatles. Listen, I like Hirst’s work, but I know to take it with a grain of salt, for he, like Koons and gaggles of others, have the luxury of resources and crews who build their work for them. Still, I find it fascinating and aesthetically pleasing in addition to being serendipitously similar to some of my own work from early in life (I swear I didn’t rip from him, ha). I also like reminiscing of spending evenings at Rose Bar in New York gazing at the massive butterfly stained glass before I even knew who Hirst was.

Moving on… this 20-foot anatomical sculpture sat outside The Tate Modern during Hirst’s retrospective during the summer of 2012. Based on his son’s toy, the 6,000 ton structure is a perfect replica of one of those body-part-puzzles that attempt to help kids understand their organs by trying to cram them all into a plastic cavity (I’m just bitter because I never had one and can’t tell the difference between my liver and my face). As you can see by the reaction of the fabulous British couple above, it was quite startling both because of its size and terrifying, Mars Attacks-y expression. You just never known how important eyelids are until they’re gone.

To see another size comparison and said crazy eyes, see this photo from Hirst’s site. Too bad it’s lopped off at the danger zone. Yaknowwhatimean??

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