Opening to the public later today in Venice at Palazzo Grassi & Punta della Dogana is the grand spectacle that is Damien Hirst’s first major show of new work in 10 years. Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable features 190 works fashioned to look like they were salvaged from the ocean floor (including what look like photos of the process). The back story features a tale of lost treasure from all over the world and different time periods that was sunk thousands of years ago, which you have to then reconcile in your mind with the fact that you see the faces of the likes of Pharrell, Kate Moss, Rihanna, and Die Antwoord singer YoLandi Visser, as well as a Mickey Mouse and Goofy appearance. There are different versions to the pieces, a copy of the “original”, the “salvaged” version, and the “curator-restored” version as well as replications in different materials and on various scales with prices reportedly ranging from $500K to $5 million. The showstopper must be the 60ft high headless demon (seen partially above) that fills the entire courtyard of Palazzo Grassi. Whatever your opinion of British artist, the sheer audacity of the concept and execution is worthy of a look if you are in the area before the exhibition closes on December 3rd.
Photo credit: Artist Portrait (Filippo Massellani for The New York Times).
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