ART / Artefacts

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The Independent Culture
Master of self-publicity Damien Hirst has pulled it off again. On the eve of his latest curatorial outing 'Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away', which opens at the Serpentine Gallery on 4 May, Hirst makes his modelling debut in the pages of Esquire magazine. Dressed in an Yves Saint Laurent suit ( pounds 815), topped off with a daisy- printed tie ( pounds 55), the darling of the avant-garde takes his chainsaw ( pounds 633) to a pig's head ( pounds 1.20) to create the world's sickest centrefold. Even though Hirst manages the bisection from ears to snout without spilling a drop of blood on his new whistle, this is definitely not breakfast table reading. And as there is no explanatory or critical text to accompany the inspired butchery, quite what Hirst is trying to tell us remains open to conjecture. Where he has certainly succeeded though is in blurring the distinction between high art and the cookery pages. Can it be a coincidence that Haagen-Dazs is the sponsor of his Serpentine show, whose private view card carries the curious sound-alike warning: 'Entrance during the private view may be staggered'?

From 6 May, the public will have a rare chance to examine the personal taste of the Royal Family: Windsor Castle is playing host to an exhibition of the Duke of Edinburgh's collection of pictures. Predictably, the show will include work covering the Prince's interests, including seascapes by Seago and Constable, and the wildlife paintings of Thorburn and Peter Scott. More surprising, though, are works by Dali, Chagall and the contemporary Australian artists Albert Namatjira and Sidney Nolan. But the most intriguing of all are the promised paintings by as yet unnamed 'contemporary Scottish artists'.