Damien Hirst has begun burning thousands of his own paintings for all the world to see. The paintings are being shipped to New York, Los Angeles, London and Moscow. The whole thing has generated controversy in Britain and the US, and the British media have been quick to claim that Damien’s new exhibition is an attempt to bring down the governments that had destroyed his paintings.
Hirst has responded in a series of Tweets, telling those who are concerned that the paintings have been destroyed and that he will be taking legal action, and stating that he will only burn the artworks if he is able to replace them with new photos or images. This is not the first time that Hirst has caused controversy; he caused even more when he released his famous “teddy bear” in 2005.
The problem for Damien Hirst is that none of his artworks have actually been destroyed, and while the legal battle may seem to have been won, there is still much debate over what exactly Damien Hirst intended when he started burning all of his own artworks on August 28.
What is clear is that Damien Hirst has come to the attention of the British media because of the controversy over one of his most famous artworks, “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” The painting depicts an 18-year-old woman, who seems to have been cut from her wrist, sitting on an autopsy table, with a heart that has been ripped from her chest. While the painting is famous, the real story behind its creation is even more surprising, and this article is not just for art enthusiasts:
In 2010, Damien Hirst began work on a series of paintings called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” in which he wanted to “create something truly extraordinary.”
The paintings, which Hirst dubbed “The Death of the Family,” are all based on the writings of Simone Weil, a French philosopher and writer. In her book La Conquête de l’âme, Weil wrote (with the title “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”) about