The physical impossibility of death in the mind of a living being by Damian Hirst

The physical impossibility of death in the mind of a living being by Damian Hirst
The physical impossibility of death in the mind of a living being by Damian Hirst
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The contemporary art of recent decades has developed in the most diverse ways, on many occasions not exempt from provocation and controversy. A good example is the work of the English artist Damian Hirst (1965-), who has his most famous work in this sculpture.

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The physical impossibility of death in a living being by Damian Hirst

This is a huge Australian tiger shark with a length of more than 4 meters that was stuffed and later placed in a kind of pond, in which it seems to float on a transparent solution of formic aldehyde. A work that also has a long title: The physical impossibility of death in the mind of a living being.

Provocation? Art? Science? What is clear is that the formula is very profitable, since this particular work was sold for a considerable sum of several million euros, and he has subsequently repeated the formula on several occasions with other types of animals.

The idea of ​​Damian Hirst in this representation is to show a panoramic vision of the animal, and he resorts to a language that is very similar, almost identical to that which the different museums of nature of the world. It is not strange that in natural history exhibitions we see the corpses of animals as if they were alive, however, there it is done with a scientific spirit andbiological, however Hirst is more concerned with using them as a means to reflect on the human being.

The curious thing is that the work, which had such a high cost, shortly after it was made in 1991, did not take many years to start to decompose, so the original shark was exchanged for another specimen.

The truth is that you have to take into account that Hirst, in addition to an artistic training at the University of London, also worked for a time in a morgue, and without a doubt that experience has greatly influenced his creative career. In fact, death is almost always present in his works. Especially in his series of Natural History, of which this representation is part, and others starring more “domestic” animals such as goats, cows or horses… But as we say the theme of death is present in many other of his works such as Por el amor de Dios in which he transformed a human skull into a diamond jewel or in his series of pictorial works made from of thousands of dead butterflies, another of his most controversial productions, and also more profitable and quoted.

In short, the art of the 21st century has opened unexpected paths centuries ago, since no one would think that living beings would be incorporated into the works, something that not only Hirst does. So have other current artists such as Jan Fabre, author of the shocking Cielo de las delicias.

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