Long Island residents are up in arms over Damien Hirst’s hideous bronze sculpture The Virgin Mother – a ten metre high representation of a naked pregnant woman complete with glaring red cutaways of her innards. The work has been installed on the grounds of the historic A. Conger Goodyear House in Long Island by property mogul Aby Rosen, a managing member of the property.
Long Island mayor Fred J. Carillo has voiced residents’ concerns by stating: “It’s out of character with the neighborhood… The question is, does it belong in Old Westbury? Does it belong on a residential property?” Village officials claim that the work has been installed without the prerequisite permits and should occupy a part of the property not visible from the street. While the issue is resolved, the bronze monstrosity has been covered with black mesh so as not to cause further offence…
There’s a guy called Alec Weitl who spends his time photoshopping images onto sweaters. These sweaters don’t actually exist. Rather, Weitl uploads them to a tumblr site for hipsters the world over to admire. The monstrosity above, of course, is a reproduction of Damien Hirst’s vacuous £50m diamond encrusted skull, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007). With plans to go into production, LOL wonders; who would actually wear this?!
Here’s Damien Hirst being interviewed by spunky Noel Fielding on the eve of the artist’s mega retrospective at Tate Modern last year. The clip features other famous talking heads like Bono, Ronnie Wood and art critic Brian Sewell, whose furious anti-Hirst tirades steal the show.
Larry Gagosian is facing the loss of two of his most well known artists. Last week Damien Hirst’s company Science Limited announced; “Larry Gagosian and Damien have reached an amicable decision to part company.” It was only in January that Gagosian committed to showing the artist’s complete suite of spot paintings at all Gagosian galleries worldwide. The dealer has represented Hirst for 17 years.
Hirst’s departure was followed a day later by that of Yayoi Kusama, who has shown with Gagosian since 2009. (Another Gagosian artist – Jeff Koons – is still ostensibly in the stable, but has lined up a solo show at rival gallery David Zwirner in the New Year). In the mean time, Hirst and Kusama continue to be represented by White Cube and Victoria Miro/Ota Fine Arts respectively.
So here’s a not-so-great art/fashion collab. This time between the insipid, possum-eyed Olsen twins and Damien Hirst. Together, they’ve created a range of ‘luxury backpacks’ for Mary Kate & Ashley’s fashion line, The Row. Peppered with Hirst-brand polka dots and prescription pills (and the artist’s signature too, of course), one of these little numbers will set you back US$55,000. Only 12 have been made. But no need to feel too guilty about your outrageous purchase, a ‘significant portion’ of each sale goes to UNICEF…
According to the Daily Mail, Damien Hirst is allegedly building a new ‘art factory’ on the edge of a housing estate in Gloucestershire. The size of 34 tennis courts, the custom-built, high security plant’s sole purpose is to preserve dead animals in formaldehyde, converting them into lucrative – and rather banal – artworks. (This is a technique Hirst first made famous in 1991 with his key work, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living).
Locals are less than impressed with the prospect of having an ‘abattoir’ on their doorstep and have petitioned against its construction, which would bring carcinogenic formaldehyde within metres of their homes. Not only that, they can expect a steady stream of lorries ferrying dead animals to the site, where they’ll be fork-lifted into the space before being dipped into chemical baths. But it’s not all bad – the factory’s said to be solar powered, carbon neutral and will even contain a fancy dining room for special guests (provided the slaughterhouse atmosphere doesn’t kill their appetite…).
Last week Larry Gagosian launched one of his most ambitious projects to date: all eleven of his galleries across 3 continents have been simultaneously filled with the collected spot paintings of Damien Hirst. The critical response to this audacious venture has been lukewarm at best, but internet sensation Hennessy Youngman a.k.a Philadelphia artist Jayson Musson’s critique (above) takes the cake. Describing the suite of exhibitions as “The perfect storm of banality”, Youngman proceeds to pan Hirst’s cheesy PR poses – particularly his open mouthed ‘Sharkface’ – and goes on to suggest that Hirst is as big a “tw*t” as Bono. Ouch.