A diverse and inclusive art world in the making
by Vatsala SethiDec 26, 2022
•make your fridays matter with a well-read weekend
by STIRworldPublished on : Feb 24, 2022
Damien Hirst's Lullaby Spring achieved the world record for the highest-grossing painting by a living artist. His work, the context, and mediums have evolved, but what perpetually remains the same is this: Hirst makes the viewer look beyond the obvious. A contemporary artist born in Bristol, United Kingdom in the year 1965 continues to make waves in today’s NFT crazed art world. Yes, a few of his works may have been controversial, but that doesn’t put a limit on his vision. We get to delve into the mind of the art inventor through his new and groundbreaking original large scale painting series.
Hirst explored a myriad of themes that include art, religion, science, life and death, incorporating a wide range of media. At a time when artists chose to focus on a single media and developed their art in it, Hirst traversed through painting, sculpture, and large scale installation art. From incorporating shark, zebra, cow and the rest of fauna in formaldehyde for his mind-boggling art, this time the British artist is focusing on the flora. In his latest series of paintings, Cherry Blossoms, Hirst adds a sense of wonder and magic through lush-vivid flowers. A cherry blossom is a flower also known as Japanese cherry or sakura found in East Asia like China, Korea and Japan.
Through Cherry Blossoms, the visual artist elucidates the Western painting from post-Impressionism to action painting. The immersive group of art offers brilliantly coloured dynamic landscapes. By the late '80s, the artist, entrepreneur and art collector had continued to create abstract paintings. In terms of abstract art, he made spin painting, dabbled with thick brushstrokes on canvases, and created large-scale installation art which often gathered hundreds of people, a cosmopolitan crowd to be precise, outside the Gagosian art gallery. And now, the latest Japanese cherry paintings bring a greater achievement in terms of their colour and pictorial space.
The paintings are made on large canvases; with a height of over five meters and a length of seven meters, it might just feel like standing beneath and feeling the expanse and beauty of a sakura tree. Hirst’s sakura oil paintings aim to transport the viewers into a fancy fantasy world in a radiant and invigorating way, allowing the viewer to step into a new dimension, a must have getaway during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The series was presented internationally for the first time in 2021 at Fondation Cartier pour lʼart Contemporain and received great acclaim. It is worthwhile noting that the exhibition, Hirstʼs first major solo show in Japan, will be held at the National Art Center, Tokyo Special Exhibition Gallery 2E from March 2-May 23, 2022. The interesting bit is that the institution is surrounded by cherry trees that attract a host of visitors every spring when the trees are in bloom. Hirst made a special selection of works from the series of 107 canvases for one of the Center’s galleries. The art exhibition is eagerly anticipated as the cherry trees will be in full bloom, creating an auspicious timing, and the visitors will have the opportunity to appreciate the artist’s pictorial expression, and a sense of breathing space from the conditions of the pandemic.
(Text by Vatsala Sethi, Assistant Editorial Coordinator (Arts))
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