After having secured your tickets for the exhibition online and queuing with a crowd of excited weekend tourists to collect the tickets on the base level of the Tate Modern you are finally there, on the third floor of the museum, ready to explore Damien Hirst’s collection of his past exhibitions.
Entering the first room of the exhibition means going about 20 years back to when Damien Hirst’s career has started. The walls of the exhibition rooms are glooming in taintless white, remembering about the walls of a sterile hospital.
A photograph from 1991 shows Damien Hirst with a dead head, a specimen, in the anatomy department at Leeds University. One of his friends took the photograph named With Dead Head. Hirst admitted that being so close to the head of a rather big man has scared him. “If you look at my face, I’m actually going: Quick. Quick. take the photo.”
This photograph depicts Hirst’s love for science and that his work tends to shock the world. This picture is hold by the Tate Galleries and was shown in a special room devoted to Damien Hirst in the Tate Britain before it was – with other of Hirst’s art works – put in the current retrospective.
This snapshot of Hirst’s high spirits as a teenager, makes it almost unbelievable that he has become the richest living artist in the world. His estate is estimated to be worth more than £215 million (€208 million).
Even before this picture was taken Hirst had shown his work Boxes (1988) in the exhibition Freeze.
At the opposite wall of Damien Hirst’s photograph lies his very first spot painting from 1986 – one of his bigger spot paintings – on the wall, which has constituted a defining moment for British Art. Notably, because something colourful captures effortless and playfulness. However, the concept behind the spot paintings is to order a number of sports in different colours with no colour related in the series, although the colour nuances look similar – they are not.
The spots are ordered in a special grid, the white space between the spots is exactly as big as 1/2 spot. In Room 1 it becomes visible that the spot paintings are representing the time when Hirst’s occupation with colour dominated his work which has remained until now. Before the exhibition was opened well-known galleries in London were showing selected spot paintings.
The exhibition continues in Room 2…