Friday, June 29, 2007

White Cube Gallery

A very dear friend took me to see this in London yesterday. It was all very 'showbiz' with heavy weight security and much razzmatazz which was then let down by viewing in a pitch black room for a full 5 minutes.
This was then followed by a perusal of other interesting exhibits including a Tiger Shark in formaldehyde, split lengthways allowing you to walk through the middle and a couple of cows cut in half. All novel items but whether they are art is questionable. I personally thought the Skull was fabulous but question the validity of spending that much money to make or purchase it. How many people could be helped, how many lives eased just a little, with that sort of money? The adage is 'a fool and his money are easily parted'.
The rest of the exhibits leave me cold and I find myself recalling the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes. However, if that's what rocks your boat then c'est la vie.

British artist Damien Hirst revealed his latest work of art at the White Cube Gallery in London, June 1, 2007. "For the Love of God" is a life-size cast of a human skull in platinum and covered by 8,601 pave-set diamonds weighing 1,106.18 carats. The single large diamond in the middle of the forehead is reportedly worth $4.2 million alone. Hirst financed the project himself, and estimates it cost between 10 and 15 million. Of course, it will cost someone a pretty penny to own the work: It's priced at $99 million.


Melanie said...

I agree with you there, Peajay...the animals are interesting from a anatomy lesson perspective, not art...and the skull...well, I do think it could have been money better investment into a large green treed park with strolling areas, artwork fountains, and art so to speak, for many to enjoy!

To be honest, it would seem more interesting from an anthropological perspective if they had done a re-creation of the man's face like I've seen on the History/Disc programmes.

Art is supposed to awe, inspire, and perhaps challenge, but not turn people cold :(

well, that's my two cents!! :))

Thanks for sharing this 'adventure'!

Peajay said...


Thanks for your two cents they were very welcome. I completely agree with the living art aspect as an alternative. Sometimes artists try that bit too hard to be clever in addition to the ever present requirement of the shock factor. Mr Hirst is a major player in that.

Talking Bear said...

There is an ironic twist to this piece. The paradoxical issues between one’s death and one’s fortune are intriguing. You can not take your wealth with you when you die. Can death be beautiful? Can something ugly be made to appeal to us? The symbolic choices here are interesting as well as un-nerving a bit. This piece is defiantly a statement, I am just not sure about what exactly.

Anonymous said...

Or as Dorothy Parker once said, "A fool and his money are easily married!"

Peajay said...

Hi S, good to hear from you. Did you like the piece?
Dorothy also said, "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to!" Hmmmmm! What could she mean!!

Melanie said...

Hi S, Peajay,
I googled for more of her quotes, and I didn't realise that Ms Parker had so many good ones! thanks!

"I don't know much about being a millionaire, but I'll bet I'd be a darling at it"

"Lips that taste of tears, they say/ Are the best for kissing.”

Peajay said...

Caustic at times wasn't she Melanie. I like her poetry too and this one is quite appropriate for S. :D


Authors and actors and artists and such
Never know nothing, and never know much.
Sculptors and singers and those of their kidney
Tell their affairs from Seattle to Sydney.
Playwrights and poets and such horses' necks
Start off from anywhere, end up at sex.
Diarists, critics, and similar roe
Never say nothing, and never say no.
People Who Do Things exceed my endurance;
God, for a man that solicits insurance!"

Melanie said...

She was caustic with some of it, perhaps with a hint of bitter...but you have to admire her for saying things that other people won't, but are thinking it none the less; and perhaps she's saying things that Needed to be said, in a manner of speaking.

anna said...


Is this a picture of AJ without hair? :D

anna said...

He's a diamond geezer .... .:D

Sorry .... bit cheesy I know!!