I swear by Hirst

The macabre in Art shown here in this Carnival Costume, Trinidad and Tobago

When carnival rolls around, the world revolves around Trinidad for me. I have no desire to hear anything from anywhere else. However this does not mean that Ido not know what is going on elsewhere, as I respond to my email and do look at CNN and other media. All of this preamble has to do with the work of Damien Hirst that was just featured online. Mr. Hirst’s show at the Hilario Galguera gallery in Mexico City, Mexico was met by expected controversy for Hirst, who left before the sparks began to fly.

Damien Hirst’s ticket the 1991 Tiger Shark in a formaldehyde filled tank. (This work was destroyed in a Saatchi warehouse fire 2004) A copy of this work called “The wrath of God'” is on exhibit at the Hilario Galguera gallery in Mexico City, 2006

I have followed the works of Mr. Hirst from his cadaver splitting days, that clearly are not over by a long shot. This body of work in Spain has a clear Catholic overtone, with Jeff Koon’s inspired, Hirst perfected formaldehyde animals, cut and splayed. What is very effective about Mr. Hirst’s work is its artifice. He has a sense of what he wants to produce.His is a calculated body of work that has almost vaudevillesque contrivance that nonetheless encourages the art world to take notice. These works over the last few years is basically the private museums of old brought to the jaded public of the present. But it is much more.

Same old “Hat Trick,” a 1984 Callaloo costume returns in “The Sacred Heart” 2006

For Carnival 2006, Peter Minshall offered the band, The Sacred Heart, referencing the issue of AIDS prevention. His band featured many images that have become iconic to our country. Yet, if innovation, or lack of it, may have disappointed, his understanding and interpretation of the theme through Performance was as always stellar Minshall. In fact what it showed was that Minshall could live another fifty years and show work fourty-nine years from now and still be more current, more relevant than everyone else presently involved with ‘mas’.

Damien Hirst too, has this staying power. The work in Mexico City was not rivetingly new. In fact, to ask for something new is a bit unreasonable of any art fan.These days it is about interpretation more than it is about newness.What struck me about this work was that it was an extension of Hirst’s own language. Much like an iconography as much as Minshall himself showed us this year.”Good Ideas” are always good, and when you are the creator of the concept, what you do with your trademark is up to you.

A man looks at a bull’s heart pierced with needles in a formaldehyde solution, a piece by British artist Damien Hirst called ‘The Sacred Heart of Jesus’, during the opening of his exhibit in Mexico City, Mexico on Thursday Feb. 23, Damien Hirst slice away. – Adele

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