Bad Environment for White Monochrome Paintings / Damien Hirst




steel, glass, acrylic on canvas, plastic containers for food and water, sarchophaga and musca domestica

A 50-foot corridor of glass and steel separates the viewing public from the gallery. There are four white monochrome paintings, 7' x 7', in each of the two galleries. Three, hanging on the walls, are sprayed with sugar water. One, propped horizontally on sawhorses, is sprayed with a clear adhesive that never dries.

In front of each painting are four black bowls. One bowl contains powdered sugar and powdered milk; another, covered with gauze, contains water. Two contain a mixture of molasses, wheat germ, yeast, and water, where flies would lay their eggs. Initially maggots were placed in the medium, to begin the natural process. As the maggots become flies, they drink the water and eat the food, which is changed regularly.

The installation opened with a pristine cleanliness. As time passes, the flies multiply, and the space and the canvases become dirtier.
Artist Statement
Art seems to be about life. I make art; I try to make it alive.
About the Artist
Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths college from 1986 to 1989. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995. Since the late 1980’s, Hirst has used a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Explaining: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else,” Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience." (Damien Hirst)
April 9 – December 31, 1994
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