Damien Hirst Essay

441 Words2 Pages
Damien Hirst Let's Eat Outdoors Today (1990 – 1991) Glass, steel, silicone rubber, cow's head, flies, maggots, sugar, water, Insect-O-Cutor, table and chairs, tableware, condiments and food 2210 x 4115 x 2146 mm | 87 x 162 x 84.5 in Damien Hirst is no stranger to criticism, and the reaction of “That’s not art!” His imagery is composed of decomposition, and disgusting disintegration of food, flesh and disease. But the genius of this previously unseen work is that when it asks, ‘Why can’t this be art?’ as it surely does, the immediate response is it contains things we do not want to look at. There’s a severed bovine head on the floor of the tank and no doubt tens of thousands of black flies. There’s a half-eaten barbecue. But people do look at it. One way to define contemporary art may be to include anything which provokes the reaction: “That’s not art!” And Damien Hirst is certainly no stranger to this reaction. Hirst demonstrates that visually appealing work does not need to pleasant. Formally Hirst has placed a stark white table in the center of a very large clear display case. The stark white furniture and plates help to draw attention to the black flies, and the colors produced by the decay of the food and condiments. There is a grill with raw red meat on it, which helps draw the viewer’s eye over to the severed cow head on the floor of the accompanying display case. The composition is very dynamic and could be stated as ever-changing as the flies and decomposition will change until the food is gone completely, and the flies have all died (which theoretically would be long after the exhibit is over). It does not appear that objects are placed with concern to formal compositional qualities or any aesthetic in mind, it looks haphazard. Let’s Eat Outdoors Today was created in 1990-1991, during a time in British culture where. It throws into question
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