Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Damien Hirst Brings New Life to Dead Baby

We all want to top ourselves. There's no greater feeling than outselling your last album. Or perhaps smashing your own world record. Plateauing is for *ahem*, pansies, and a downward slope is the quickest route to obscurity.
It makes me wonder if artist Damien Hirst is set out to top his own shocking creations or if he just likes to watch his audience squirm.
I'll bet this dead baby skull that it's some creepy combination of both.
For Heaven's Sake is Hirst's latest masterpiece, an actual infant skull, rumored to be the remains of a two-week old baby from the Victorian era, covered in platinum and badazzled with pink and white diamonds. It can only be expected from the guy who convinced the masses that severed sharks and pickled sheep were fine art.
For Heaven's Sake follows For The Love of God, another diamond skull presented back in 2007. Hirst received plenty of flack on the adult sized skull from critics because of its exorbitant price tag of 50 million dollars. Despite the haters, it became the worlds most expensive contemporary piece of artwork and remains as the largest commissioned diamond piece since the Crown Jewels.
The infant skull, which will be presented at the Gagosian gallery's exhibition space in Hong Kong later this month, has already begun to ruffle a few feathers.
The Telegraph reports: Sally Russell, the founder of the parenting group Netmums, said: "There is so much heartache around the death of a child whatever the circumstances, and it affects parents so deeply and for so long. Mr Hirst may not have intended to be insensitive with his new work, but the fact is it will have a profound effect on many people who will find the subject deeply disturbing." 
I'm going to just play Devil's advocate here and say that although I do find the piece to be a bit on the creepy side, no one is asking them to use the use the thing as a paper weight at Planned Parenthood.
There are countless things that people find offensive, like pornography or Beiber bangs on grown men, but we can all agree that if it's not your cup of tea, then no one is forcing it into your home. It is only one of it's kind, and whoever ultimately buys this sparkly bundle of joy certainly won't have a problem with it.
I think I'm more struck by the lack of imagination from Hirst, seeing as how he already did the diamond skull thing just over 3 years ago. Over the years, he has been made famous for his ability to shock us with a body of work that makes us all do an immediate double take.
Now, the piece is exquisitely crafted and admittedly quite beautiful in my opinion, but "shocking", from Hirst? Consult the eye of the beholder.

I imagine an enormous, diamond studded rhinoceros pizzel coming out of his camp in the near future. ~vK

1 comment:

  1. It would be nice if it wasn't a real baby. He just wants attention.