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Damien Hirst

Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide

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About the Work

About the Work

Damien Hirst is one of the greatest provocateurs and a polarizing figure in recent art history. From the outset of his career, Hirst devised a fool-proof strategy for grabbing the attention of the public and critics. His shark suspended in a tank of formaldehyde, entitled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” wowed and repulsed audiences in 1991. In 1995, Hirst won the coveted Turner Prize, a fitting pinnacle of his growing artistic success. The excitement over his unique works logically came to benefit as a result the of ultra-commodification and celebrity that began with Andy Warhol.

“Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide” is part of Damien Hirst’s spot paintings, which began in 1986. Spot painting has become an iconic symbol of contemporary art. Hirst started them as an endless series, a scientific approach to painting, similar to the way drug companies scientifically approach to life. The name of the spot painting series which “Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide” is part off is called “Pharmaceutical Paintings” because art doesn’t purport to have all the answers, but the drug companies do. Works such as “Aminobezoyl Hydrazide” are named after the pharmaceutical stimulants and narcotics listed in the book “Biochemicals Organic Compounds for Research and Diagnostic Reagents” published by the chemical company Sigma-Aldrich which Hirst came across in the 1990s. The very nature of this ever-growing project echoes the abundance of scientific research whose constant expansion is needed to further our knowledge of medicine. Furthermore, the orderly manner in which paint is applied in perfectly even circles suggests scientific taxonomy as well as a regulated sanitization process where any color contamination is prevented through careful separation.

“Aminobenzoyl Hydrazide” is a 62 x 86 – inch household gloss on canvas.