ART & COMMERCE | “GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN”: DAMIEN HIRST’S GILDED MAMMOTH FOR CHARITY
Say what you will about Damien Hirst as an artist—and there’s always a lot to be said—but his generosity within the art world is legendary and is at the root of his latest sculpture, a prehistoric three-meter high Wooly Mammoth skeleton dipped in gold and encased in a giant gold-plated vitirne.
Titled Gone But Not Forgotten, the unbelievably costly piece has been created expressly for donation to amfAR to help raise funds for their work in fighting AIDS. Says Hirst of his gilded creation, “The mammoth comes from a time and place that we cannot ever fully understand. despite its scientific reality, it has attained an almost mythical status and I wanted to play with these ideas of legend, history and science by gilding the skeleton and placing it within a monolithic gold tank. It’s such an absolute expression of mortality, but i’ve decorated it to the point where it’s become something else, I’ve pitched everything I can against death to create something more hopeful, it is gone but not forgotten.”
Hirst will formally reveal the artwork—along with a matching gold spot painting—at amfAR’s 21st Cinema Against AIDS gala on Thursday at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in France during the Cannes film festival where it will be auctioned off before a crowd of onlookers who can easily afford the decadent prehistoric bauble.
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