Damien Hirst (B. 1965) Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX 2008

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Lot 6AR
Damien Hirst
(B. 1965)
Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX
2008

Sold for £ 150,250 (US$ 206,482) inc. premium
Damien Hirst (B. 1965)
Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX
2008

signed, titled and dated 2008 on the reverse; signed on the stretcher
household gloss on canvas

203.2 by 177.8 cm.
80 by 70 in.


Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Gift from the artist to the present owner in 2009

    Exhibited
    Bristol, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, 2016-2019, work on loan to the museum

    Literature
    MC Publishing Limited, 'State of the Art' in: The Bristol Magazine, Issue 152, February 2017, p. 4, illustrated in colour, and p. 40, illustrated in colour


    Executed for the cover of British rock band The Hours' album 'See the Light', Beautiful Hours Spin Painting IX embodies the central theme which informed most of Damien Hirst's artistic practice: mortality, or the impossible balance between life and death. Although the motif of the skull references 'vanitas' in 16th and 17th century painting, where it was used to symbolise the inherent transience of life, Damien Hirst's appropriation of the subject within one of his iconic spin paintings in the present work is anything but macabre. Emerging from a psychedelic burst of vibrant high-gloss paint, it exudes dynamism and joie de vivre.

    Hirst bonded with The Hours' band members Martin Slattery and Antony Genn through their common friend Joe Strummer - unforgettable co-founder of The Clash. Hirst's friendship with Strummer started when the pair met at a music festival in 1995, and Strummer became an important part of Hirst's life. Upon the musician's untimely death in 2002, Hirst stated that this event marked the first time '[he] felt mortal', deepening his interest in the subject of mortality even further.

    United by their common friend and a love of music, Hirst and The Hours' band members started collaborating professionally early on, as Hirst partially funded and designed the covers for the band's first album 'Narcissus Road', released in 2007, and their second album, released in 2009, for which the present work was executed.

    Hirst first began working on his spin paintings in the early 1990s, and staged a performance at a street fair in London in 1993 where he invited members of the public to create their own. He installed a 'spin machine' in his studio the next year, and the iconic series of painting created by pouring high-gloss emulsion on a spinning canvas was born. By removing the artist's hand from the process and relying on chance, the spin paintings demystify the process of artistic production and form an iconoclastic commentary on the rigidity and academicism that informed most of art-history.
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