Damien Hirst work on sale in Tate Modern retrospective

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Damien Hirst merchandise, from a deckchair to a plastic skull, is on sale for eye-watering price tags of up to £36,800 at the first UK retrospective of the controversial British artist.

Click HERE or on 'view gallery' above to see some of the works on display

The items can be snapped up at Tate Modern's highly-anticipated show, which opens just days after a critic and former curator urged owners of Hirst's work to sell quickly before "the penny drops".

The show, entitled Damien Hirst, features some new work in the form of diamond and butterfly-decorated wallpaper, and highlights from the 46-year-old's phenomenally successful career.

Hirst's installation In And Out Of Love is shown for the first time since its creation in 1991, comprising a room full of live butterflies, feeding on sugar water and fruit which visitors are advised to go through at a "steady, slow pace", next to an adjoining room of dead butterflies on monochrome canvases.

Visitors will be assaulted by the smell of dying flies and a rotting cow's head in A Thousand Years (1990), where flies emerge from maggots, eat from the animal's head and die on an Insectocutor.

For The Love Of God, the human skull covered in 8,601 flawless diamonds - the work Hirst says he is most proud of - is on display at Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, with its own security.

The retrospective also features a shark suspended in formaldehyde in The Physical Impossibility of Death In the Mind Of Someone Living (1991), Hirst's largest spot painting, the Pharmacy (1992) installation of medicine bottles, spin paintings, and hundreds of used cigarettes in a giant ashtray in Crematorium (1996).

At the end of the exhibition, which opens on Wednesday, visitors can spend £700 on a limited edition roll of butterfly wallpaper, or part with £36,800 for a plastic skull decorated with "household gloss" in the style of one of Hirst's spin paintings.

Other objects on sale include a butterfly-print deckchair for £310, and a spot painting-style skateboard "stamped with signature" for £480.

Hirst said he had been asked to do a retrospective since he was 28, but he had shied away from the idea.

"I think I was avoiding it because I was afraid of it in some ways," he said. "The idea is more frightening than the reality. You have to get to the point when you are ready to look back."

Hirst, who is now making paintings with scalpel blades and using bugs in his studio, said of his retrospective: "It seems more about life than death to me. It's optimistic, fun, full of beans. I definitely expected it to be shabbier."

He said of his show: "I am proud of it. It all feels strong and sober. You fear that it's going to be dusty, in cobwebs and meaningless like a lot of stuff in this world."

He described his own work as "traditional art", adding: "You want art that sits in the history of art quite comfortably.

"I'm also looking for timelessness. You watch Vic and Bob on TV or Spitting Image and it doesn't have any meaning and it was great at the time. As an artist you're afraid that's going to happen to you."

He defended his work following criticism from art critic and former curator Julian Spalding, who described conceptual art as "con art".

Hirst said that the comment was "more about selling a book than selling art" and that he would advise anyone who had bought one of his pieces to "keep them on for a few more spins of the roulette wheel".

"People don't like contemporary art but all art starts out as contemporary," he said.

Hirst defended the merchandise at his retrospective, saying: "You get the Mona Lisa and then you get the postcards, the T-shirts, the mouse-pad, the earrings and the mugs.

"One thing is the artwork and the other is getting it out there and I've always been torn between the two."

He said: "A painting probably has the most shocking increase in value than what it cost to make but you'd never look at a Rembrandt and say that's just wood and canvas and paint and say 'how much?"'

Asked whether the plastic skull selling for £36,800 would hold its value, he replied: "Maybe on eBay you might be all right for a bit."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect