Artist Hymn Hirst
Hirst first burst onto the art scene as one of the leading members of the Young British Artists generation in the 1980s, creating installations and sculptures which examined relationships among beauty, religion, science, life, death and modern-day values. His installations and sculptures explored contemporary belief systems while challenging existing norms.
One of his signature works, Hymn is an iconic bronze sculpture created from an anatomical toy bought for Hirst by his son as part of an educational package he received at school. This masterpiece showcases Hirst’s mastery in appropriation art.
Early Life and Education
Hirst was raised in Leeds, England before attending Goldsmith College in London to help curate an art show attended by Charles Saatchi himself – thus propelling his fame and increasing it significantly. His artwork featured prominently at this exhibition.
Attracted acclaim for his controversial works that explored humanity’s unwillingness to accept death and immortality, including animals preserved in formaldehyde for display – which won him widespread admiration and notoriety.
Hirst often used borrowed themes and objects in his works – something common among contemporary artists. In one instance, Hirst recreated Hymn from an anatomical toy made by his son Connor; its original manufacturer sued Hirst for copyright infringement but eventually settled out-of-court and donated the funds raised through their lawsuit to children’s charities.
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Damien Hirst of England first rose to prominence as one of the Young British Artists during the 1990s. Known for his artwork that explores relationships between art, beauty, science, religion and death; often challenging contemporary belief systems through ‘Medicine Cabinets’ and Spot Paintings he produced his renowned 20-foot bronze anatomical toy sculpture recently installed at Norwich University of the Arts through mid July; coinciding with his major exhibition held nearby Houghton Hall.
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Hirst’s work is widely recognized for blurring the boundaries between art and life. From his butterfly kaleidoscope paintings to medical cabinet sculptures, Hirst has created works which explore the intertwined natures of art, science, beauty and religion in his art works.
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Hirst explores the boundaries of art and reality through his works, drawing inspiration from science, religion, and popular culture – such as his shark preserved in formaldehyde or diamond-encrusted skull or butterfly kaleidoscope painting – his pieces include some unusual ones such as these.
Hirst’s art is highly provocative and challenging. He has regularly spoken out against the art establishment while pushing artistic expression to new levels. Additionally, Hirst has been accused of plagiarism 16 times.
His latest creation is Hymn, a 20-foot-high bronze sculpture depicting human anatomy based on children’s toys. Already displayed at Monaco, Dubai and Naples exhibitions; now installed at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) Norfolk where it will coincide with an exhibit at Houghton Hall nearby.
Hirst’s career has been enormously successful, making him one of the richest artists on earth. He has amassed wealth through various business ventures – such as opening the Pharmacy restaurant in London; backing musicians such as Fat Les whose football anthem “Vindaloo” became popular; backing musicians and bands; backing musicians for concerts like Fat Les; as well as his art collection featuring pieces by Francis Bacon, Jeff Koons, and others.
Although Hymn may appear as an obvious theft of its original toy design, it actually contains multiple layers of meaning that connect religion and art history. Furthermore, Hirst used innovative forms of appropriation in his sculpture. Hymn is an example of “object trouve”, the practice of collecting objects and rearrange them to form new works of art.