Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Damien Hirst's "Purgatory"

Damien Hirst, "Purgatory," 2008
 Glass, gold plated stainless steel, steel, aluminium, nickel, cigarettes, cigars, lipstick & ash
2361 x 4702 x 100 mm | 93 x 185.1 x 3.9 in

Damien Hirst's abstract approach to artwork always provides an intuitive commentary on society and the human condition. The piece itself depicts a lot of cigarettes in different positions on gold plated stainless steal shelves, each looking, in one way or another, that it has just been put out. The beauty of this piece comes to light when considering its name. "Purgatory" denotes a very poignant perspective in regards to smokers. They are not dead, nor are they living; their bodies are fallen, shrunken, and ashy just as the cigarettes are place. Damien Hirst sees this as correlative to Purgatory a place where neither the living nor dead occupy. 

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