I was recently lucky enough to be in Venice, at the same time that Damien Hirst, opened his first new exhibition in ten years. As soon as the exhibition date was released & I realised it would coincide with our trip, I was beyond excited!
The Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, opened in April 2017. Showing over two exhibition spaces. The Palazzo de Grassi & the Punta Della Dogana. The exhibition itself, is based around the idea of a shipwreck being discovered and Hirst funding the excavation of the pieces found inside. Both spaces, are filled with hundreds of pieces. This exhibition is both beautiful in its detail but also in its grand scale.
It’s hard to not believe that these pieces aren’t from a shipwreck or are thousands of years old. The intricate detail, the ‘fake news’ background story that Hirst has created & the exhibition space itself, all makes you feel like you’re in a museum, not a modern art gallery.
When you enter the exhibition, you instantly get the feeling that you are looking at the museum pieces of the future, which reflect the world we live in today. The sculptures of women (which feature heavily in the show) all have small waists, fake boobs & big lips. The features we celebrate in modern culture.
These, however, seem out of place and almost cheap when reflected in sculpture. It’s a very different aesthetic from the Pre-Raphaelite / Roman figures, with natural figures, that we are used to seeing in museums.
Hirst is cheekily showing the false idols/celebrities that we celebrate in modern culture. Not only do the female sculptures have strong resemblances to Rhianna & Angelina Jolie, you are also presented with decayed characters from Disney films.
Supporting the ‘fake news’ background story & the idea of this shipwreck full of antiquities. Hirst has created large unicorn skulls (featured image), giant clams & even sea monsters.
Art is, what the viewer choses to see. I know what I felt as I viewed the exhibition, but what someone else takes away from it, may be completely different (The great thing about modern art). But I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t enjoy Hirst’s latest creation. This has to be the best modern art exhibition I have ever seen, so if your visiting Venice this year, this place is definitely worth a look!