Damien Hirst sparks controversy with his blinged baby skull
Damien Hirst, the British artist well known for his $100 million skull, has always been in the news for his outstanding yet controversial art works, which include dissected sharks and pickled sheep. This time, he has crossed all the boundaries by using a dead baby’s skull for his latest work of art. The life-size human baby skull – dubbed “For Heaven’s Sake” – is cast in platinum and festooned with 8,128 pave-set white and pink diamonds by the royal jewelers Bentley & Skinner. The skull is said to be of a baby less than two weeks old, and is part of a 19th-century pathology collection acquired by Hirst.
What people have to say?
Sally Russell, founder of a mothering advice group, Netmums, said…
Mr. Hirst may not have intended to be insensitive, but it will have a profound effect on many people who will find the subject deeply disturbing.
Roger Sclare, the taxidermist, says…
Infants’ skulls are rare, but they do occasionally come up for sale.
Jude Tyrrell, the director of Science Ltd, Hirst’s main art-production company, said…
Of course it’s a delicate subject, but this is from an old collection, which we think is Victorian, and they were obsessed with collecting all sorts of bizarre things. “I’m a mother, and I do find it slightly odd and strange to look at, but at the same time quite beautiful.
The diamond-studded baby skull will be the centerpiece of an exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Hirst opening at Gagosian’s gallery at 12 Pedder Street on January 18, 2010.