Surgical Precision – Detailed Cityscapes Built with Scalpel Blades and Needles

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.


Hirst, who is considered to be the world’s wealthiest artist, shot to fame with his ‘out-of-the-box’ projects like pickling dead sharks in formaldehyde, encrusting skulls with diamonds, and filling rooms with thousands of live butterflies. With Black Scalpel Cityscapes, he is attempting to make a metaphorical reference to the military tactic of surgical bombing or surgical strikes that pinpoint target areas to attack. He is also trying to investigate subjects related to the disquieting realities of modern life – surveillance, globalization, urbanization and more.
















via My Modern Met

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