Who knew that steely cold surgical tools could be used to produce exquisite, intricate architectural models? Renowned British artist Damien Hirst did just that – he used a vast number of surgical instruments and metal objects such as scalpels, stitching needles, razor blades, hooks, iron filings and safety-pins to create wonderfully detailed collages called ‘Black Scalpel Cityscapes’.
For his recent exhibition at White Cube Gallery in Brazil, he selected 17 cities that are either recent sites of conflict, cities relating to his own life, or centers of political or religious significance – including Rome and the Vatican City, Leeds, Beijing, Moscow, London and New York.
To create a collage, Hirst gathers as many surgical tools and scrap metal as possible and then begins the arduous process of delicately arranging them to replicate the aerial view of a city. He then adds some local flavor to each collage. For instance, the view of Paris is contains a few French francs and tourist souvenirs, while Vatican City has silver religious medallions. Moscow’s miniature roads sparkle with shards of mirror.