Damien Hirst appears as 'dark overlord of contemporary art' in sinister new Jonathan Yeo portrait
A portrait of Damien Hirst by Jonathan Yeo will be go on display later this year at the National Portrait Gallery.
The sinister portrait shows Hirst looking directly at the viewer, dressed in a chemical dry suit and holding a mask, which he wears to make his formaldehyde works.
Yeo and Hirst, who have wildly different artistic backgrounds, worked together to choose the latter's controversial attire.
Yeo, who is best known for his painted portraits of Tony Blair and a pregnant Sienna Miller, said the outfit and composition were intentionally obscure.
"Even when we realise it's a chemical dry suit, it's not entirely clear if Hirst is making something or whether he is being pickled in one of his own tanks," he said.
“The pose was intended to reflect ironically his supposed status as dark overlord of the Contemporary Art scene.
He added: “Ultimately his faint smirk is the giveaway, both that he was a knowing collaborator in the choice of composition, and that his mischievous sense of humour is never far from anything he does.”
Hirst, whose art centres more on sculpture and installation, said: “Yeo time and time again achieves what should be impossible: creating a true picture, an image or a glimpse, of people we think we know and of those we’ve never met.”
The portrait will go on show as part of the National Portrait Gallery’s upcoming exhibition of Yeo’s work, a retrospective of his portrait work to date.
The exhibition will include drawings of the party leaders on the 2001 general election campaign trail, private studies of his family and portraits of well-known figures including Miller, Rupert Murdoch and another fellow contemporary artist Grayson Perry.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict