It's getting colder but me, Danielle and Aly declared Saturday will be our day to see new things. We lasted about three hours before retreating into the warmth but we trekked up Lexington Avenue and braved the wind to see the new commissioned installation by UK artist Damien Hirst. A challenging artist, he uses the core themes of the human experience and it's uncertainties; life, death, love, loyalty, etc through unconventional media.
Hirst used dead animals in various states of preservation, decomposition and sculpture.
And, surisingly, through the presentation it is calming and quite beautiful. His latest was a 'classroom' made of rows and rows of headless lambs preserved in water tanks on pristine autopsy tables all facing a 'teacher'; a scultpure of among other things, a cow carcass split in two inspired by Francis Bacon's paintings.
Surrounded all the while by cabinets of pills (representing our blief of the preservation of life through medication) and a series of backwards running clocks (which looked creepy). There were several other elements alluding to the susuatining of life and the inevitable road to death. Heavy....
The next stop was a series of portraits by legendary photographer David Mapplethorpe. It's amazing to view these soft portraits of a young Patti Smith or Iggy Pop and other New York notables of his time when you are aware of some of the more hardcore and graphic photos he produced revolving around his homosexuality and the series of flowers he worked on over the years of his career.
And, like the Irving Penn portraits I saw a few weeks ago, just as incredible to see them as real analogue black & white prints, after seeing them for years reprinted in books.