The ultimate enfant terrible of the Young British Artist movement, Turner Prize winner, and notorious egomaniac/genius/trillionaire/wanker has just opened his latest exhibition of new works entitled End of an Era at New York’s Modern Art “it” gallery, the Gagosian.
As per his previous shows, Hirst once again appears to have stuck to his favourite themes: commentary on contemporary art, wealth and death, and how those things relate to the life, wealth and contemporary art of Damien Hirst.
The collection includes a series of photorealist paintings of world famous diamonds, Judgement Day – a massive gold-plated glass cabinet filled with close to 30,000 manufactured diamonds, and the exhibition’s central work End of an Era for which Hirst returns to his favourite artistic media: preserved animal heads.
The sculpture has a severed bull’s head with golden horns, crowned with a solid gold disc, suspended in formaldehyde and encased in a golden vitrine, referencing his early critic-dividing works that made him as rich as sin. Over the last couple of years Hirst has announced the end of some of his most renowned series including the spot, spin and butterfly paintings, so perhaps his latest exhibition does symbolise the end of the era. Has the time come to pour out the formaldehyde and leave the cows alone?
I wouldn’t bet the farm…