Damien Hirst (b. 1965)



Damien Hirst (b. 1965)

Love Will Tear us Apart (3/10), 1995
Cabinet, needles, syringes
14 x 20 x 8.75 in
Contact For Price
Inquire
Love Will Tear Us Apart Celebrated and controversial, artist, entrepreneur, collector, filmmaker, market maverick and well-rehearsed rebellious chameleon, Damien Hirst, rose to unparalleled prominence as a member of the Young British Artists in 1990s London. One of the first bodies of work to achieve Hirst recognition was his Medicine Cabinets series, literal boxed arrangements of medical tablets, serums, containers and dispensers, superficially minimalist pop color coded sculptural compositions, echoing the crisp contours of Judd and LeWitt constructions, with a self-assured disruptive nihilistic depth of concept. In part inspired by a youthful near fatal accident when a toddler Hirst mistook prescription pills for candy resulting in an emergency stomach pump, the works demonstrated the aesthetically alluring decoration of the outer shell concealing the dangerous contents effectively identifying the translucent veil between antidote and poison. Collectively sanitized generic readymade Cornell boxes depicting a disordered organization of a disturbingly compulsive collector, shines to a specific psychosis. Brightly coated with a deadly serious beneath, a subtler harbinger of his later shockingly confrontational entombed carcass specimens and opulently bedecked skulls and pharmaceuticals. This series of installations began Hirst's career spanning artistic exploration of the beauty in systems of mortality and decay. The inevitable constant of death has remained a cardinal theme to Hirst's work, as that which does not live cannot die, it could be argued that life is also of thematic importance to the artist or at very least an attempt to define the delicate distinction between the inherently linked states. An overt Memento Mori, Love Will Tear Us Apart, 1995 allegorically appropriates its title from Joy Division's post punk breakout single, that tortured iconic front man Ian Curtis, tragically took his own life before he could see the successful reception of. A call back to Hirst's seminal Medicine Cabinet series, which brashly borrowed it's titles from the track list of punk pioneers the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bullocks, this installment more directly explores the vital/fatal drug duality with the sterile packaged syringes, crucial instruments of healthcare and the addicts tool of self-inflicted sickness, depending on the plunger's pilot, comprising the systematic compartmentalized display. Curtis embodying the mortal moral for this tonic, toxic correlation, his painfully British stoic suffering through the medical mismanagement of his Epilepsy, the crippling collateral depression of its treatment contributing to his ultimate suicide the evidentiary archetype. The unintended caustic consequence of a cure is the crux of this conceptual biscuit, mirroring Hirst own childhood brush with overdose death to a degree. The star-crossed romanticism of the contradiction within the title as well introduces a parallel interpretation. Hopelessly "Love Will", not 'Love Can", this a love so powerful it is destined for self-destruction, readably a poetic description of addiction. The needles grimly point to an intravenous drug user unable to escape the dragon's fateful flames. Hirst no stranger to struggles with excess, having experiential knowledge of the sparkling skull and crossbones that is overindulgence in a good thing, even if that goodness is merely perceived. That which we think will bring us joyful salvation being also the device that designs our demise, seems an absolute sadness of existence. It has been sardonically said that the words love, God and drugs can be interchangeable expressions of longing and fulfillment in any rock and roll lyric. Hirst whose own cult of personality brilliantly blurs the lines between artistic and rock star popular celebrity, synthesizes all three subjects to a complex singular science in the provocatively poignant Love Will Tear Us Apart, a starkly severe still life instilled with life. Damien Hirst, a poster boy for the Young British Artists who rose to prominence in late 1980s London, is one of the most notorious artists of his generation. He has pushed the limits of fine art and good taste with sculptures that comprise dead animals submerged in formaldehyde; innumerable spot paintings that appear mass-produced and can sell for millions of dollars; and the exuberantly tacky For the Love of God (2007), a human skull studded with 8,601 diamonds. Through his installations, sculptures, drawings, and paintings, Hirst explores themes including religion, mortality, and desire. Since 1988, when the artist developed and curated “Freeze,” a groundbreaking exhibition of his work and that of his Goldsmiths College peers, he has been the subject of major shows at Tate Modern in London, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. In 2008, Hirst controversially staged “Beautiful Inside my Head Forever,” an auction in which he sold his work directly to the public and raked in around $200 million for himself. His individual works have sold for more than $10 million at auction.


Damien Hirst (b. 1965)

Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths college from 1986 to 1989.

 

He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995. Since the late 1980’s, Hirst has used a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death.

 

Explaining: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else,” Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience.

 

Hirst developed his interest in exploring the “unacceptable idea” of death as a teenager in Leeds. From the age of sixteen, he made regular visits to the anatomy department of Leeds Medical School in order to make life drawings (‘With Dead Head’ (1991). The experiences served to establish the difficulties he perceived in reconciling the idea of death in life. Of the prominence of death in his work (‘A Thousand Years’ (1990) he has explained: “You can frighten people with death or an idea of their own mortality, or it can actually give them vigour."

 

At Goldsmiths, Hirst’s understanding of the distinction between painting and sculpture changed significantly, and he began work on some of his most important series. The ‘Medicine Cabinets’ created in his second year combined the aesthetics of minimalism with Hirst’s observation that, “science is the new religion for many people. It’s as simple and as complicated as that really.”. This is one of his most enduring themes, and was most powerfully manifested in the installation work, ‘Pharmacy’ (1992).

 

Whilst in his second year, Hirst conceived and curated ‘Freeze’ – a group exhibition in three phases. The exhibition of Goldsmiths students is commonly acknowledged to have been the launching point not only for Hirst, but for a generation of British artists. For its final phase he painted two series of coloured spots on to the warehouse walls. Hirst describes the spot paintings as a means of “pinning down the joy of colour”, and explains they provided a solution to all problems he’d previously had with colour.

 

It has become one of the artist’s most prolific and recognisable series, and in January 2012 the works were exhibited in a show of unprecedented scale across eleven Gagosian Gallery locations worldwide. In 1991 Hirst began work on ‘Natural History’, arguably his most famous series. Through preserving creatures in minimalist steel and glass tanks filled with formaldehyde solution, he intended to create a “zoo of dead animals”. In 1992, the shark piece, ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991) was unveiled at the Saatchi Gallery’s ‘Young British Artists I’ exhibition. The shark, described by the artist as a “thing to describe a feeling”, remains one of the most iconic symbols of modern British art and popular culture in the 90’s.

 

The series typifies Hirst’s interest in display mechanisms. The glass boxes he employs both in ‘Natural History’ works and in vitrines, such as ‘The Acquired Inability to Escape’ (1991), act to define the artwork’s space, whilst simultaneously commenting on the “fragility of existence”. Since his involvement in ‘Freeze’ in 1988, curatorial projects have remained important to the artist. In 1994 he organized the international group exhibition ‘Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away’ at the Serpentine Gallery. Over a decade later, and explaining that he considers collections to constitute a “map of a man’s life”, he curated an award-winning exhibition of work from his ‘Murderme’ collection: ‘In the darkest hour there may be light’ (2006, Serpentine Gallery).

 

Stating: “I am absolutely not interested in tying things down”, Hirst has continued over the last decade to explore the “big issues” of “death, life, religion, beauty, science.” In 2007, he unveiled the spectacular, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007): a platinum cast of a skull set with 8,601 flawless pavé-set diamonds, at the White Cube exhibition ‘Beyond Belief’. The following year, he took the unprecedented step of bypassing gallery involvement in selling 244 new works at Sotheby’s auction house in London.

 

Describing the sale as a means of democratising the art market, the ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’ auction followed Hirst’s Sotheby’s event in 2004, in which the entire contents of the artist’s restaurant venture, Pharmacy, were sold. Since 1987, over 80 solo Damien Hirst exhibitions have taken place worldwide and his work has been included in over 260 group shows.

 

Hirst’s first major retrospective ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ was held in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples in 2004. His contribution to British art over the last two and a half decades was recognised in 2012 with a major retrospective of his work staged at Tate Modern. Hirst lives and works in London, Gloucestershire and Devon.

 

 

Read More
822 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
USA
822 E Las Olas Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
USA
Copyright © 2022, Art Gallery Software by ArtCloudCopyright © 2022, Art Gallery Software by ArtCloud