Must See Art: Damien Hirst Retrospective at Tate Modern

Posted by The G on April 9, 2012 under Artsy Fartsy | Read the First Comment

Photos by G.  Art by Damien Hirst.

The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Damien Hirst

2012 is the year of Damien Hirst!  I was fortunate enough to meet one of the most successful and controversial artists in the world earlier in 2012 and as my great luck would have it, I happened to be on holiday in London on the day that the retrospective of his art opened at the Tate Modern!  If you are unfamiliar with his works, if you are already a fan or if you just shrug your shoulders when you hear his name, you should check out this exhibit.  So many works you only read about in books are all on display in the same place at the same time.

Extreme Close Up: Spot Painting by Damien Hirst

While perusing the exhibit, many of the following thoughts will enter your head – “do people dislike Hirst because he is so rich and blame it on his art?”  “It’s well known a staff of assistants helps him carry out his projects.  How many people are employed and what types of schedules do they keep?”  “How on earth do they transport these works of art across the world?”

An Enormous Ashtray Filled with Cigarette Butts by Damien Hirst

At the retrospective, you’ll see the infamous spot paintings (and before you dismiss them, you should research the reasoning behind the color schemes as well as the fact that though these paintings look like they are done by machines, they are actually done by Hirst’s assistants); Medicine Cabinets, the glass cases filled with diamonds, cigarette butts and pills; spin paintings, skulls, butterflies; the animals in formaldehyde; the flies attacking a rotting carcass and more!

Flies eating a rotting carcass!

Whether or not Damien Hirst’s art is “your thing,” it will certainly give you lots of food for thought.  I think that’s one of the greatest things about his work – it will certainly force you into making a decision about your opinion of his art.  Like it or not, I can’t imagine a single person that sees this exhibit will walk away and have no opinion of it.  I thoroughly enjoyed hearing museum patrons expressing extreme views of his art as I walked around the galleries.

Medicine Cabinet by Damien Hirst

If you will not be able to make it to London to see this exhibit, you should definitely check out The Happy Famous Artists’ Flickr page that is chock full of great snaps from the press preview of the Hirst retrospective.

If you go see the exhibit in person, make sure you exit through the gift shop!

Damien Hirst - The Merch!

“Damien Hirst” runs at the Tate Modern in London, England through September 9, 2012.  Don’t miss it!


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  • Gail said,

    Ah, so jealous!