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Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst, 'For the Love of God' Laugh with Diamond Dust, 2007

2007

Price Upon Request

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For The Love Of God, ‘Laugh’ is a glittering silkscreen print with genuine Diamond Dust, created by Damien Hirst. This artwork depicts one of the most iconic sculptures by Hirst, ‘For the Love of God' (2007), a diamond-encrusted platinum skull. Damien Hirst intended 'For the Love of God' to be a memento mori, capitalizing upon the themes that have preoccupied Hirst throughout his career: beauty, value, and the inevitability of death. ‘Laugh’ is signed by the artist on the front and is of Limited Edition, only 250 ever created. The work is in excellent condition and is complete with a custom made frame in a black lacquer finish and non-glare museum quality glass. The custom framed dimensions measure 48 x 38 x 2 in. / 122 x 96.5 x 5 cm. This artwork arrives ready to install with the Arton seal of approval for authenticity, quality and exquisite condition. Questions on this piece? Send us a note or call us directly. ‘For the Love of God’ is a platinum skull set with diamonds, that made history as the most expensive work of art by a living artist. The raw materials alone define it as an artwork of unprecedented scale. On explaining his intentions with the work, Damien Hirst stated, “I just thought, ‘What can you pit against death?” The 32 platinum plates making up ‘For the Love of God’ are set with 8,601 VVS to flawless pavé-set diamonds, weighing a massive 1,106.18 carats. The teeth inserted into the jaw are real and belong to the original skull. The skull from which ‘For the Love of God’ was cast, was purchased from a London taxidermist and subsequently subjected to intensive bioarchaeological analysis and radiocarbon dating. This research revealed it dated from around 1720 - 1810, and was likely to be that of a 35-year-old man of European/Mediterranean ancestry. The title originates from exclamations Hirst’s mother would make on hearing plans for new works when he was starting out as an artist. As he explains: “She used to say, ‘For the love of God, what are you going to do next!’” ‘For the Love of God’ acts as a reminder that our existence on earth is transient. Hirst combined the imagery of classic memento mori with inspiration drawn from Aztec skulls and the Mexican love of decoration and attitude towards death. He explains of death: “You don’t like it, so you disguise it or you decorate it to make it look like something bearable – to such an extent that it becomes something else.” The incorporation of the large central stone was inspired by memories of the comic ‘2000 AD’, which Hirst used to read as a child. He relates how the comic, “used to have a character in it called Tharg the Mighty who had a circle on his forehead. He was like a kind of powerful, God-like figure who controlled the universe,” Hirst explains. “It kind of just looked like it needed something. A third eye; a connection to Jesus and his dad.” Alongside their dazzling brilliance and “Eucharistic” beauty, Hirst’s fascination with diamonds results partly from the mutterings and uncertainty surrounding their inherent worth. In the face of the industry’s ability to establish their irreplaceable value, it becomes necessary to question whether they are “just a bit of glass, with accumulated metaphorical significance? Or [whether they] are genuine objects of supreme beauty connected with life.” The cutthroat nature of the diamond industry, and the capitalist society which supports it, is central to the work’s concept. Hirst explains that the stones “bring out the best and the worst in people...people kill for diamonds, they kill each other”. Damien Hirst is a British contemporary master artist and entrepreneur recognized for his iconic artworks that have defined the contemporary art world for over a decade. His varied practice, which includes installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing, explores the complex relationships between life, death, art, religion, and science. Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965 and grew up in Leeds, England. In 1984, he moved to London, where he worked in construction before enrolling at Goldsmiths University of London, in 1986 to study fine art. While at Goldsmiths, Hirst organized the independent student exhibition Freeze, which has become legendary as the originating moment of the Young British Artists (YBAs). Freeze, which exhibited Hirst’s first spot paintings, launched Hirst and 15 of his fellow students to fame, making their place in art history. In 1991, Charles Saatchi, offering to fund Hirst’s artwork, mounted the first Young British Artists (YBA) exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Among the works exhibited was The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark submerged in a formaldehyde vitrine, which became an overnight sensation. As a result of the show, Hirst was nominated for that year's Turner Prize. Hirst again won the Turner Prize in 1995 for his piece, Mother and Child Divided, which consists of a cow and a calf each bisected and held within its own glass case. Hirst is well recognized for his spot paintings, medicine cabinet motifs, brightly colored spin paintings, kaleidoscopic butterflies, and diamond-encrusted skulls. Since 1987, over 80 solo Damien Hirst exhibitions have taken place worldwide and his work has been included in over 260 group shows. He has permanent sculptural installations across the globe and is the UK's richest living artist. Hirst continues to work and create art in the present day, with his recent focus primarily on paintings. To learn more about this artist and see other available artworks, please visit our website.

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About Damien Hirst (Artist)

British artist Damien Hirst is widely considered the enfant terrible of contemporary art. He is the most prominent of the so-called Young British Artists, or YBAs, a group, largely composed of Hirst’s classmates at Goldsmiths, in London, that began exhibiting together in warehouses and factories after 1988 and is known for the use of unconventional materials and “shock tactics.”


     In the 1990s, Hirst said, “I can’t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it.” And indeed, he is notorious for piquing critics and baffling the public with such pieces as his signature glass vitrines containing dead sheep or sharks in formaldehyde, and his diamond-encrusted skull, For the Love of God.


     Working primarily in sculpture, Hirst takes after French modernist master Marcel Duchamp in his use of ready-made objects and materials, which he combines to ironic effect. He often creates in series, as with The Cure (Violet) and The Cure (Turquoise), both from 2014, which are among several pill paintings referencing Andy Warhol’s embrace of mass production. Belonging to his ongoing series of “spot” paintings, begun in the 1980s, the 2005 piece Xylene Cyanol Dye Solution is striking for its machinelike, industrial uniformity and almost childlike simplicity, a seeming rebuke to the idea of the artist-as-genius.


     In addition to making art, Hirst has launched stores that sell editioned works (Other Criteria), a restaurant (Pharmacy2) and even his own London museum (Newport Street Gallery).

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