The Ukrainian mega collector, Mr.Viktor Pinchuk, convinced the YBA superhero artist Damien Hirst to present his first large retrospective outside of auction houses since 2005 in Naples, Italy.
This made a big impact on Kiev: Approximately 2,000 VIPs attended the opening: Besides many superrich I saw Andreas Gursky, Jeff Koons, Bianca Jagger, Dasha Zhukova, Jay Jopling, the Klitschko brothers and the like.
Pinchuk Art Centre says that on the first weekend the show has been attended by 10,000 visitors free of charge.
This must have been also due to the fact that Mr. Hirst had set up four ‘spin painting stations’ inside the museum during this weekend: In a do-it-yourself-approach visitors could make their own spin painting and Hirst even signed the fist 600 of them (!).
This is a very generous gesture by Damien Hirst, as in his historic one-man-Sotheby’s-auction ‘Beautiful inside my head forever’ the spin paintings were sold around $ 100.000 per piece. Rumours said that Mr. Pinchuk even contributed financially to this project.
It is obvious that all Kiev will be Hirst crazy until the end of the show at 20th September 2009.
And the show ‘Requiem’ itself?
If you never saw a large show by Damien Hirst it is quite impressive. You get what you expect:
Lambs in formaldehyde tanks.
Butterflies on painted canvasses.
Rotting cow heads with and without flies.
Various art work somehow in connection with skulls.
Most of the work has already been seen in the media or in similar pieces by Hirst. Maybe the intense media coverage of Hirst’s work is the reason why there is nothing happeningwithin yourself when you finally see the piece in reality.
All that reminds me of a dinner date I had once with a model: Before I was excited – then I was disappointed as he and his personality didn’t match his own high gloss pictures. I left without desert.
by Karin Lambert
‘Requiem’ at the Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine from 25th April 2009 – 20th September 2009.