Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Societude: Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God"

Posted by Hotseat |

Damien's art has always been controversial and theatrical, but I never really was that fussed by it. Why, then, aside from some mildly magpieish tendencies on my part, do I find this piece so fascinating? I think in all honesty it traces back to the time I first saw Peter Ustinov's documentary on the Vatican. This documentary showed many of the thousands of relics (bones of saints) and jewelled items that the Vatican had acquired in its long tenure. While Hirst himself claims that his intent tended toward the focus now on "blood diamonds" and the genesis had to do with his continuation of the exploration of death and the nature of our relationship toward it, it reminded me of a rotund Ukranian man showing the wonder and absolute ridiculous luxury that is the upper echelons of the Catholic Church. The piece consists of an actual human skull cica 18th century, and has new teeth (origin unknown) and 14 million pounds work of diamons hand laid on the surface of the skull, even inside the nasal and ocular cavities. The work, titled "For the Love of God" is on display soon, and is rumoured to have a buyer already for the asking price of fifty million pounds, or 100 million USD.
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