Sunday, June 03, 2007

Diamonds are forever?

Love him or hate him ( I love him!) Damien Hirst certainly gets the public a chatter about his artistic endeavours..."For the Love of God" is the title of Hirst's latest work. The skull is covered with 8,601 flawless diamonds and I cannot help but compare it with my favourite painting of all time....Holbein's "The Ambassadors".

What use is all your wealth when you die? I guess you could sell up and put every cent into encrusting your head with jewells, thats useful! Thats a worthwhile thing to do with all the blood sweat and tears that went into getting them from the Diamond Mines! ISN't IT???!!! But, actually, it probably is if buried because its being returned to the earth for the next meniacal nutcase to dig it up again....

£50million pounds is what they are saying this baby is worth, it really is quite amazing. The thing that sparked my interest is the similar thought patterns behind Holbeins' masterpiece. The very idea that you can spend your whole life with everything you could possibly want, travel the globe, experience life in all its fullness, or be a simple man and live a quiet life, although rich in other ways, its all meaningless in the end because we are human, flesh, blood and skeletal form, the same in the earth or as ashes to the wind.

I have been reading what the critics are saying and many have referred to this work as 'vacuous nonsense'. I'm sorry guys but I just don't agree! We are living in an age where the young facile and rich appear to get everything, those who don't have it, want it (well thats what the media tells us)...Why else would Paris Hilton be so popular if thousands, nay millions of girls all over the world didn't want to emulate her. Much of the modern world has its cars, its MacMansions, its Summer holidays, Foxtel, electronic gagets that supposedly make our lives better and more luxurious. What an apt symbol of the modern world this diamond encrusted skull is, it is an absurdly useless object, insanely decorated with one of the most universal symbols of wealth and power.

Hirst, you've cracked it perfectly for me.


life-draw said...

I graduated out of Sydney college of the Arts in the Jewellery and Object Dept. My Final paper was about Jewellery and the marketplace, and looking back I was young and naive, but one thing I was passionate about was the false value of diamonds, particularly the engagement ring, and how for me they meant not a lot more than being a symbol of slavery and all that is bad in the world. I don't now see it so black and white, and formed these views full well appreciative of the amazing sparkle that only a quality diamond can give, but still have never owned a diamond, the only ones we own are in styluses. But I love this work, I think it touches very much on what I used to be on about, and what a shame it would be if it were to be hidden away in private ownership. I'd love to see it one day.

Steph said...


That is all.

A Reason to Paint said...

A great read Dianne; thank you for drawing my attention to Hirst's latest work. I really enjoy art that has something to say.

I wonder where he gets his art supplies?

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree, the Holbein painting is a magnificent work.
I remember having a postcard of it and holding it up at an acute angle, trying to 'see the skull', which I know was there but couldn't be sure - if you know what I mean.
And maybe that's what Hirst has in mind with his diamond skull... making us 'look' for a disguised and hidden skull.
As humans we don't like looking at death. Perhaps it's the artists role to make us look!

michelle giacobello said...

Beautifully put!