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.

But then I got thinking about the triumph over death, which is what the star is about in the second image – an animated gif version.

The loop is 0.2 seconds, and that pretty quickly became annoying. The triumph over death should be at a more steady canter. So the last version here is at an interval of 2.0 seconds. It is calling out from a distant star, connecting with a distant star, in an unknown universe being explored.

skull illustration

10 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 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        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

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