Tag Archives: Damien Hirst

Rome: Damien Hirst Archaeology Now at Villa Borghese

Archaeology Now is a Solo exhibition by British artist Damien Hirst presenting over 80 works from the Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable series, hosted in the sumptuous halls of Galleria Borghese, in a creative dialogue with the magnificent masterpieces of the museum.

The project stems from one of Hirst’s most original research in the last twenty years, on display for the first time in 2017 in Venice. The artist worked with different materials – natural, technological and precious – with exceptional technique and skill.  His works – made from marble, bronze, rock crystal, and semi-precious stones – cross the boundary between reality and fiction, enhancing the desire for the eclecticism of Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the Gallery founder.

Hirst’s sculptures come with an elaborate (and untrue) backstory. Purportedly 2,000 years old, they were supposedly uncovered in the cargo of a sunken ship rescued off the coast of East Africa in 2008, part of an underwater archaeology venture funded by the British artist (hence the coral and barnacles encrusting some of the works). The original “Treasures” exhibition, which reportedly cost $65 million to produce, debuted at the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana in 2017.

Curated by Anna Coliva and Mario Codognato Archaeology Now brings together sculptures, both monumental and small, made from materials such as bronze, Carrara marble, and malachite.

Furthermore, alongside the Gallery permanent collection, the Colour Space paintings are displayed for the first time in Italy. Hirst defined them as “cells under the microscope”: They break the idea of ​​a unified image, float in space, colliding and merging with one another, with a sense of movement that contradicts the stasis of the canvas.

Of great visual impact is the colossal Hydra and Kali sculpture, visible in the outer space of the Secret Garden of the Birdhouse.

Damien Hirst , Archaeologia Now at Galleria Borghese, Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5, Rome, June 8–November 7, 2021


Covid’Art: Artists tribute to Healthcare support staff – Free Download

With the COVID-19 pandemic, artists around the world are creating Thank You tributes to all essential frontline workers in all fields who help provide our food and services, and to all the doctors and nurses and medical professionals that are making great sacrifice.
To encourage them in these challenging times, to lift their spirits and send them love and appreciation, when so much is expected of them and so many people depend on their work, you can download the following artworks, print them and display them on your window.

Many artists have uploaded their artworks on Amplifier.org like Thomas Wimberly  (cover image)

Here is a selection below:

Shepard Fairey – Angel of Hope

Fake – Super Nurse

Michelle Kato – Nurse of No Mans Land

British artist Damien Hirst has also created a rainbow and a butterfly heart of hope in support of the NHS and the Evening Standard charity campaign to help the hungry.

London: Gavin Turk @ Newport Street Gallery

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery is showing the first major solo exhibition of work by British artist Gavin Turk since 2002.

Who What When Where How and Why’ spans twenty-six years of the artist’s career throughout Newport Street’s six gallery spaces featuring over seventy works including new and previously unexhibited selected work drawn from Hirst’s extensive art collection.

Damien Hirst first saw Gavin Turk’s work – which he has been acquiring since 1998 – at his Royal College degree show in 1991, where Turk exhibited the iconic Cave, a commemorative blue plaque installation, presented here in the Gallery 2.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery



Since emerging onto the London art scene in the early 90s, Turk has dedicated much of his career to exploring notions of authorship, identity and value.

The Gallery 1 focusses on Signature and Decisions with a series of early works from the 90’s.  Unoriginal Signature (1996) shows the artist’s signature spelled out in an anamorphic installation using Yves Klein blue sponges, only viewable from a particular angle.   En plein air (1994) features a bottle of Perrier on that never stop spinning on a white table, like never reaching for a decision.  For Identity Crisis (1994) a mock up of a Hello Magazine is presented in a light box, parody of an advertising campaign but also highlighting ahead of his time the complexity of sharing the artist private life with mainstream media and tabloids. 

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery Gavin Turk - Newport Street GalleryGavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery   Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery  Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Exploring the notion of identity, Gavin Turk has portrayed himself in a series of figurative disguises over the past 25 years.

Pop (1993) is a  life-sized waxwork of Turk  as Sid Vicious in the gunslinging pose of Andy Warhol’s Elvis Presley, a comment on the nature of celebrity and the inbuilt self-destruction of the star system. The exhibition also includes lifesize figures of Turk as a tramp in Bum (1998), a Queen’s Guard in Somebody’s Son (2007)  as well as a fountain in Self Portrait (2012).

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Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Abstract impressionist canvasses on first glance look like Jackson Pollock, only to reveal the result of an innumerable repetition of Gavin Turk’s signatures.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

The next floor is an immersive installation dedicated to two infamous symbols of British identity: Punk and white transit vans, which have been camouflaged in the Warhol aesthetic with yellow sneer wallpaper. His own sculpture Pop has been screenprinted in duplicate or triplicate to reiterate the image and blurring the lines between familiar and unfamiliar.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street GalleryGavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

For his Transit disaster series,  Turk substitutes Warhol’s road side wrecks with the image of a torched transit van. In Britain white vans are synonymous of white working class men. Pictured in flames the implication is violence and vandalism. The repeated image highlights an increasing hostile social divide, consequence of capitalism and desensitisation. Completing the series is a Cesar-like compression of the white van.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street GalleryGavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street GalleryGavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

In one of the corridors lays Nomad (2002), a disarmingly realistic bronze cast of a rough-sleeper buried inside a battered sleeping bag, highlighting the growing issues of social divide and homelessness.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

A series of everyday objects are scattered on the floor and could be discarded as trash, but Gavin Turk loves to play  with our perception, trompe l’oeil, illusion and what is defined as thruth, waste and beauty.

In the Detritus series the artist magnifies these everyday perishable objects and waste and transform them into lifesize bronze sculptures painted to look real, giving them a new value and status.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery  Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Always playful, amongst the trompe l’oeil realistic bronze sculptures is also featured a compressed can, found nearby the gallery during the opening.

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Pimp (1996) , a  skip originally used as a container for the disposal of building waste, has been revamped with lacquered paint.  Pile (2004) features a bronze cast of six full black bin bags arranged in a pile, painted to look real. Ending the exhibition is an extra large version of the bin bag with American Bag (2016), symbol of our wasteful consumerist lifestyles.

Finding beauty in the trashy and ugly, Gavin Turk mentions ‘We are defined by what we throw away and conversely we are deconstructed by what we choose to display in our hallowed museum halls.’

Gavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery     Gavin Turk - Newport Street GalleryGavin Turk - Newport Street Gallery

Who What When Where How & Why is an impressive retrospective of Gavin Turk’s career and definitively not to be missed.

View the full set of pics here

Gavin Turk: Who What When Where How & Why
Until 19 March 2017
Newport Street Gallery, London SE11 6AJ

London: Jeff Koons NOW

Jeff Koons NOW

Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery just opened  ‘Now’, a solo exhibition of work by American artist Jeff Koons (b.1955). While the Parisian institution Centre Pompidou dedicated a major retrospective to the the artist in 2015 in Paris (covered),   ‘Now’  is the first major UK exhibition to be devoted to Koons since the Serpentine Gallery’s 2009 show, ‘Jeff Koons: Popeye Series’.

Spanning thirty-five years of the artist’s career, the exhibition  features thirty-six paintings, works on paper and sculptures dating from 1979 to 2014.  Drawn from Damien Hirst’s collection, a number of these works have never before been shown in the UK.

The Gallery 1 features early works from Jeff Koons like the Inflatable Flowers (1979) , the NEW (1980 -1986) with vacuum cleaners sculptures.

Jeff Koons NOW    Jeff Koons NOW
Jeff Koons - NOW

The Gallery 2  features a shiny giant Balloon Monkey (2006-2013) in  a mirror polished stainless steel with transparent blue colour coating.  ‘ It constantly reminds viewers of their existence, it’s all about you.  When you leave the room, it’s gone.’ The monumental sculpture  evoques of sensuality with its seductive polished finish and phallic tail.

Jeff Koons NOWJeff Koons - NOW    Jeff Koons - NOW

The next gallery hosts some of the erotic works from “Made in Heaven’ , from monumental sculpture of a Bowl with Eggs to large portraits of Jeff Koons and his then wife Ilona Staller.

Jeff Koons - NOW

The Gallery 4 contains iconic works from the basketsballs floating in a glass tank (1985) to  works from his series ‘ Luxury and Degradation’ with Jim Bean- JB Turner Train (1986) in stainless steel and the bust of Italian Woman (1986).

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Jeff Koons - NOW  Koons 19  Jeff Koons - NOW

From the ‘Popeye’ series, inflatable pool toys that interact with ready made objects are designed to fool the eyes. Looking like vinyl, they are cast in aluminium and meticulously painted to appear exactly like the real thing.

Jeff Koons - NOW
Jeff Koons - NOW  Jeff Koons - NOW  Jeff Koons - NOWJeff Koons - NOW    Jeff Koons - NOW

The last gallery features  Jeff Koons’s ongoing Celebration’ series from 1994 to 2014. The illusory Elephant (2003) and Titi (2004 -2009) appear to be fragile, air -filled inflatables, but are cast in heavy-weight stainless steel that mirrors  the viewers. The most technically challenging work of his career Play Doh (1994-2014) faithfully reproduces (in an enormous size) a small lump of modelling clay fashioned by his son. The twenty seven individual pieces are cast in aluminium and held together with their own weight.

Jeff Koons NOW Jeff Koons NOW    Jeff Koons - NOW Jeff Koons - NOW  Jeff Koons - NOW  Jeff Koons - NOW

View the full set of pics here

The BBC just conducted an interview with both Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst

Jeff Koons – NOW
Until 15 Oct 2016
Newport Street Gallery

London: Damien Hirst Christmas Tree

Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015

Next to the Connaught Hotel in London Mayfair stands a 30 feet tall Christmas tree adorned with flying doves and unusual decorations: snowmen formed of giant pills, medical instruments, scissors, syringues, scalpels…

Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015   Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015  Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015

This is the work of  controversial artist Damien Hirst, who generated some complaints from local residents who found it inappropriate and culturally insensitive and dangerous as it is on a public highway next to a church and a homeless center.

Hirst said: “The Christmas tree is a celebration of togetherness, a joyful symbol of hope and love. For the decorations, I wanted to reference some of the amazing things that give us hope in the world today.”

Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015   Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015  Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015   Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015     Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015
Damien Hirst - Christmas Tree 2015

View the full set of pics here