“For the love of God ” or “For the love of Money?
In Florence, at Palazzo Vecchio art experts are secretly working on a special project, due within the end of the current year. It is likely to become the cultural event of the “new deal “of Florentine art, a way of linking “the contemporary” to the glorious past of Renaissance.
The exhibition will be taking place in the heart of Palazzo Vecchio, more exactly in the “studiolo” of Francesco Ist of the Medici , a real wunderkammer, precious and unique product of the Florentine mannerism. Here under the frescoed ceiling where Francesco de’ Medici used to devote himself to his scientific studies, Damien Hirst’s Diamond Skull, worth 100 million Euros, will be exhibited.
A controversial work: a life-size platinum skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, entitled “For The Love of God”.
The amusing title was apparently inspired by Hirst’s mother naively asking him “For the love of God, what are you doing next?” The artist, leader of the Young British Artists in the 1990s, made his name by pickling sharks, cows, sheep in formaldehyde, painting enlarged anatomical figures, among which the birth of his son by caesarean, or displaying pharmaceutical products in cupboards. The dealer and collector Charles Saatchi, initially, sponsored Hirst, who soon became an art entrepreneur himself. He actually broke the power of London traditional art galleries and consequently created his own brand, capable of selling almost anything: colourful canvasses splattered with hair, broken glass, scalpel blades, human teeth and diamond dust, seductive yet all based on biopsies of cancerous salivary glands or a prostate blood clot.
The adventure “Diamond Skull” started last June when Mr. Hirst came to Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence. He was strongly charmed by the background and excited by the idea of placing the priciest contemporary work of art ever made in this location.
In a setting such as Palazzo Vecchio, situated in the heart of Florence, his masterpiece will be able to establish a dialogue with a celebrated past, with the ghost of a very refined, yet bizarre, grand duke absorbed in the investigation of sciences, alchemy and the borders between life and death. An explosive contrast, in a sort of a black sanctuary, acknowledged by history, the Diamond Skull will be suspended, lit by dazzling beams of lights.
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