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Damien Hirst’s New Hemline — Blue Heron Fine Art Blog

Damien Hirst’s New Hemline

by Jim Puzinas on October 21, 2009

Economists have long noted that women’s skirt hemlines rise and fall as economic conditions change.  Hemlines tend to rise in good times, and fall in bad.  With this thought in mind, I wonder whether the recent works by Damien Hirst marks the passing of an era or just the new reality of the world’s current economic climate.

Damien Hirst, best known for his disturbing creations of dead sharks and sheep suspended in formaldahyde and his morbid £50 million  diamond encrusted skull, has apparently decided to return to painting as his preferred medium. This comes after years of designing conceptual pieces that were executed by his staff in an almost factory-like setting more akin to the fashion industry than the traditional craft of painting. 


The Kingdom, a tiger shark in formaldehyde, by Hirst sold at Sotheby's London for $17 million in 2008

Some  have come to believe that Damien Hirst’s conceptual pieces were symbolic of an era in which many young British artists had come of age in the 1990’s,  in what was loosely termed the Young British Artists group. Noted for their installation art whose appeal was more shock value than beauty, many critics, had scratched their head and wondered whether this was art at all.

Has that era come to an end now that Hirst  has abandoned the creation of such pieces and retreated back to painting? Or perhaps, does Hirst believe that he can more easily sell  paintings during these challenging economic times than his elaborate conceptual assemblages?


 Artist Damien Hirst stands in The Wallace Collection at his “No Love Lost, Blue Paintings” by Damien Hirst exhibition on October 13, 2009 in London. The collection comprised of 25 new paintings by British artist Hirst is being shown in the UK for the first time. The new works, created between 2006 and 2008 mark the artist’s return to the solitary practice of painting. Source Getty Images.

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