Damien Hirst’s ‘Biopsy Paintings’ image the ‘beyond belief’ elements of human biology. Previous catalogues to accompany his White Cube exhibition of 2007 have been sold with 4 varying covers, dispatched at random to buyers.
In this limited edition, a series of 20 variable covers have been united to create a complete ‘Biopsy Painting’ reproduction, with the actual catalogues framed back to back, signed and presented as if in a medical display cabinet. The format is a cell of cells - the minutiae ever divisible and metonymic.
These unimaginably small cells compound the profound joy and decay of human existence, a motif common to Hirst’s practice. The broken glass, scalpel blades and sanguine paint in this series simultaneously attract and disgust; their glittering violence is part of their morbid, insistent appeal.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He first came to public attention in 1988 when he conceived and curated ‘Freeze’, an exhibition of his own work and that of his contemporaries at Goldsmiths college, staged in a disused London warehouse. Since this time Hirst has become widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation.
Through a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing Hirst has sought to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Alongside over 80 solo exhibitions he has worked on numerous curatorial projects. In 2008, Hirst took the unprecedented step of bypassing gallery involvement in selling 244 new works at a Sotheby’s, London auction entitled ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’.
Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995 and his contribution to British art over the last two and a half decades has been acknowledged in a major solo retrospective exhibited at Tate Modern, London. He lives in Devon and has studios in Gloucester and London.
Text © Damien Hirst & Science Ltd., All rights reserved, 2012