For The Sensations It Arouses

A couple of days ago, Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer was talking about the overuse of the word ‘iconic’ – and he referenced a few photographs and art works to underline his point. One of the art works was Damien Hirst’s ‘For the Love of God’, which is a jewel-encrusted skull with teeth set in the gaping mouth. A pleasant subject, no?

I thought I would have a go at something similar – mostly for the sensations it aroused in me as I was doing it. It’s made in Photoshop.

Making it was a tiny bit cathartic, but mostly I was thinking about Damien Hirst and why he made it at all and why he named the piece as he did – assuming it was more than just for a showman’s dramatic effect.

I googled For The Love Of God Damien Hirst – and if you click the link you can see the skull he made and then if you open up the ‘Contexts tab in the concertina, you can read all about what the artist was thinking about in making it.

When I finished the JPEG version, it reminded me of one of the characters in a James Bond film that was set in the Caribbean, with Roger Moore in the title role. The character is dressed in skeletal makeup and jumps up at the camera. If you’ve seen the film, you probably remember it.

skull illustration

23 thoughts on “For The Sensations It Arouses

      1. He’s become famous by shocking his audience. You may have heard of or seen his thirteen-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde.

        It don’t think his skull is disgusting, but I can see people might. Is it art? It’s a construction and it took some imagination to envisage it. But is it art?

        Well if Duchamp’s urinal, entitled ‘Fountain’ is art, then Hirst’s work is art. I have my views on it – and so do museum curators πŸ˜‰

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        1. For this beholder, Van Dyke, Rembrandt, had skills that I admire. It’s not just their technical skill but also their insight into the human condition. Some cartoonists have skills that can tell a story with a squiggly line.

          I know that’s a floating idea, because I can warm to some artists once I get what they are getting it.

          But if the skill is in the idea but anyone could execute the piece, then for me – they are ideas people but not artists.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I agree about Β«iconicΒ» being an overused word.

    I’ve had endless discussions with people … artists and others … about ‘what is art’. I guess there isn’t any one answer to that.

    I stopped watching James Bond movies when Sean Connery quit.

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    1. I was about to do a little potted version of what the different people who have played the character mean to me – from Sean Connery to the latest person – and then it struck me how funny that I/we/people can just accept a new actor in the role – not that George Lazenby was accepted by many.

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      1. Certain fictional characters I have a really hard time accepting change of actors, and James Bond was one of them. Possibly because I was a kid when my 10-year-older brother took me to the movies [our mum worked nights in the hospital so he had to drag me along everywhere πŸ™‚ ].

        On an unrelated note, I’ve just finished watching a crime drama called The Loch. Have you seen it?

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        1. I now have an image of you being dragged to the films. πŸ™‚

          I first saw Daniel Craig in a TV series ‘Our Friends In The North’, about corruption in urban development. Here’s the Wiki entry. It was quite special and I remember him because he played a character who was badly affected by a relationship he was in, and I thought at the time he was a good actor.

          I haven’t seen The Loch, haven’t seen much TV for a while.

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        2. I would like to see that series — it looks really good. I saw him in a movie, I forget the name now, but it took place in the forests of Poland during WWII. He was really good.

          I would imagine you haven’t watched much, travelling and all that …

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        3. That was Defiance, I saw it on TV … that I don’t watch πŸ™‚

          We watched a bit of Russian and Spanish TV for the cross-cultural interest.

          I wrote elsewhere that on our first night in the hotel in Saint Petersburg the film on TV was β€˜Salt’ – an American film about Russian agents planted in the US. Dubbed in Russian, of course, and I wondered what the local audiences thought of the film.

          Yes, and more trips in the New Year, I hope.

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        4. Our Friends In The North is available on DVD from Amazon UK. I don’t know whether you can see it on Amazon, but if you can – go to the image and see them all as young actors. πŸ™‚

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        5. I don’t know whether you have come across this phenomenon, but some people we meet in Europe hear Tamara and hear me and they cannot tell that Tamara is American. They just cannot hear the difference in the accents, whereas to us they are very obvious. πŸ™‚

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        6. Wow, that’s odd! I could spot that right away, even before I moved. I could sort out an Australian accent too. When watching TV, I have it easier than Gerry, understanding the various, British accents …

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