X

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.

damien-hirst-cityscapes Read More »

Controversial Artist Unveils Work Created with Hundreds of Dead Insects

Damien Hirst is known as one of the most controversial artists of our time, and his latest work only adds to his reputation. Capaneus, part of the ‘entomology‘ series that hirst has been working on since 2009, features hundreds of insect species placed in intricate geometric shapes and fixed in place with household gloss paint.

Considering many people find insects, spiders and scorpions disgusting or even frightening, it’s fair to say Capaneus is not an artwork for the faint of heart. However, considering Hirts’s past “masterpieces” include a diamond-encrusted baby skull, and an installation where maggots hatched, developed into flies and feasted on a severed cow’s head in a glass box, I’d have to say his latest creation is one of the least controversial. According to the English artist’s website, “this work’s title derives from Dante’s ‘Inferno’ which recounts how the warrior king Capaneus is struck down with lightening and thunder bolts by the angered deities whom he has held in contempt. Dante’s account originates from the Latin epic poem ‘Thebaid’ in which it is described how, body and helmet aflame, Capaneus falls from the walls to the ground below where he lies outstretched, ‘his lifeless body as immense as that of a giant.” Like the rest of the artworks in the “entomology” series, Capaneus alludes to Hirst’s long time interest in the nineteenth century fascination with natural history and the irony involved in having to kill something in order to look at it.

Read More »

Diamond Encrusted Baby Skull Sparks Controversy

Damien Hirst‘s latest artwork, a baby’s skull cast in platinum and encrusted with 8,000 diamonds, has caused quite an outrage among parenting groups who think it’s offensive and deeply disturbing.

Hirst has made quite a name for himself, as a controversial artist who has previously dissected sheep and pickled a shark and showed them off as artworks. As disgusting as this sounds, it earned him an international reputation and a multi-million dollar fortune. But some say the bad boy of the art world has gone a little to far with his latest creation, “For Heaven’s Sake”.

He took a baby skull from a 19th century pathology collection he acquired, made a platinum cast and encrusted it with 8,000 diamonds. The piece is the centerpiece of a new exhibition scheduled to open later this month, in Hong Kong, but it has already made headlines, after parenting groups labeled it as troubling. “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.” said Sally Russell, founder of the Netmums parenting group.

Read More »