|Damien Hirst is back!|
|Written by Anna Trevisan|
Provocative, controversial, drastic: Damien Hirst’s talent is obsessive, fatal, and compulsively success-oriented. The English artist, born in Bristol in 1965, graduated in Fine Arts at the Goldsmith College in London in 1989.
Thanks to Frieze, he is able to found Young British Artists (or YBAs), also known as BritArt, and to meet Charles Saatchi, his future pygmalion. A decade later, in 1991, one of his most famous pieces, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (a four-metre long formaldehyde-preserved tiger shark) is sold for 12 million dollars to an American collector.
In 2003, Charity is valued at one million pounds. Meanwhile, Hirst conquered not only the art market, but also the fierce aversion of animalists, who stigmatize his continual use of animal corpses for his art: a quartered cow, sheep, fish, birds, pigs… and a generous endowment of formaldehyde. Butterflies number in the thousands (9000, it seems) and are catalogue with an entomologist’s care. More: display cabinets with furniture and other common items, frozen in cruel lucidity as mementos of daily life, kaleidoscopical paintings, spot paintings of manic symmetry, diamond-studded human skulls.
Hirst’s return to Venice is scheduled for April 9 at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana after twelve long years since his last proper visit to Italy. His art is a fatal attraction for the dead and the inanimate. What this really means, though, is open to debate, and we can only imagine what Hirst is going to set up for this Venetian show, for we have no clue as we speak except for a brief title phrase: Treasure from the Wreck of the Unbelievable.
Palazzo Grassi, San Samuele | Punta della Dogana, Salute - Venice