above: one from each of Hirst’s series; Hypnotic, Transcendent and Hallucinatory Heads.
A lot of blogs have been covering artist Michael Leon‘s colored gypsum skulls lately and I’ve seen many a post on everything from crayon skulls to skull flash drives. But if you’re an art fan and a skull fan, I can’t think of a more fun combination that the series of Damien Hirst’s ‘spinner’ painted skulls.
Damien Hirst Skulls
above: Hirst with his diamond encrusted skull
I’m sure most of you are familiar with artist Damien Hirst’s diamond and platinum skull. Lauded as the singularly most expensive piece of sold art at 100 million dollars, the skull, titled “For The Love Of God”.
above: For The Love Of God, the 100 million dollar diamond encrusted platinum skull by Damien Hirst
A common theme in his own, as well as many other artist’s work, Hirst has created several other versions of skulls that you may not know about and that are available for purchase.
In this latest series of 50 painted skulls are three categories manifested as three variations of form: Hallucinatory Head, Hypnotic Head and Transcendent Head, with each skull a unique result of the now famous and highly sought after ‘Spin’ painting technique.
The skull is one of a number of recurring motifs not only in Damien Hirst’s work but also in the history of art, and in this special edition has been reworked back in to his signature. The technique is simple but the result relies on complex ideas about mortality and the history of mankind, touching on specific anthropological and historical readings, with compelling, celebratory and seductive results.
A suggested memento mori of a more uplifting and contemporary slant, Hirst’s proximity to the subject of death is ever fresh, rewarding and daring, seeking to challenge the often morbid art historical approach to the subject. His skulls engage, they fix us with their own kind of gaze, imploring us to see the comedy within them. Here, the image of death is less unknowable, more approachable, a little lighthearted, even, whilst possessing something of an ancient relic or offering to the gods. Influences of the Mexican celebration, Dia de los Muertos, fuse ritual and anthropology with ornament, demonstrating the crux of Hirst’s practice wherein the philosophical and eternal become part of the vocabulary of modern life and modern aesthetic.
The Hallucinatory Heads
These are multi-colored glossy spinner paints on partial plastic skulls (no lower jawbone):
The Transcendent Heads
These are multi-colored glossy spinner paints on plastic full skulls with eyeballs:
The Hypnotic Heads
These are black and white glossy spinner painted plastic heads of full skulls with empty eye sockets:
specs for all:
210 x 140 x 140 mm
Household gloss on plastic skull
all information and images are courtesy of The Other Criteria, which is the only place where these skulls shown above can be purchased.
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