January 7, 2011

Review: Damian Hirst expands his oeuvre beyond butterflies

Hirst Raw Vegetables 1.0

[editor’s note: parts of the article below may be fictitious.]

Damien Hirst vegetable installation
Damien Hirst’s latest installation is  “Vegan Feast”. The exhibition features over one hundred varieties of vegetables from the United Kingdom.

Damien Hirst’s, “Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain”- irked vegans and religious scholars alike in 2007; nonetheless Denver ranchers and the American Meat Institute praised his installation.

Given the controversy with animal rights activists over his previous installation, where Hirst represented San Sebastian as a calf- the 45 year old artist is looking to broaden his commercial appeal. He has given up formaldehyde and suspended calves, and dead butterflies on canvas, for a cornucopia of pickled vegetables.

Maybe Hirst can get a spot in the DAM

Historical references, early reviews
Art critics interviewed for this article see work reminiscent of Andy Warhol (soup cans maybe? inside-out). Others see shades of Sandy Skoglund; but healthier.  (She used Cheetos, see above).

Further controversy- Hirst may sell rather than exhibit “Vegan Feast”
H. J. Heinz, Ba-Tampte and Campbell Soup are interested in Hirst’s “Vegan Feast” installation for their lobbies.

One gallery executive, off the record, thought the raw vegetables would fetch north of 100 million Sterling- a record for a food based installation.  The art critics for the New York Times and Guardian declined to comment.

Nothing is a Problem for Me

Installation required
Like Hirst’s calf in formaldehyde and pharmaceutical shelves (above), “Vegan Feast”  includes directions for proper pickling and installation of the vegetables.  Hirst will also deploy an art team to pickle and shelve his masterpiece.

Hirst, ever the commercial artist, is working with local farmers on sourcing the vegetables and surprisingly none of the pickled food will come from China- unless a bidder for his work is domiciled in Asia. This move pleased OF&G (the UK’s Organic Farmers and Growers).

[editor’s reminder: parts of the article above may be fictitious.]

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