Damien Hirst Designs New Range Of Wallpaper

Look whats Just Rolled Off The Production Line! Ceramics,Towels and Scarves For Tate Modern Show

Ever want to own your own Damien Hirst? Most artist’s work, which can be hung on walls, come in the form of paintings, prints and relief sculpture, but now, providing you can afford to pay around £700.00 a roll, you can cover your walls in Damien Hirst Wallpaper from Other Criteria, the official Hirst limited editions company. This new wallpaper, depicting a range of kaleidoscope butterflies and gilded micro-organisms is about to be released in time for the Hirst retrospective, at Tate Modern in July. The exhibition is also expected to be well stocked with many of the products associated with shows of this scale and profile. Scarves, ceramic plates (10k a set) and mugs will be abundant.

It is not an entirely new concept for Hirst to design wallpaper. Examples with printed pills and medicine bottles were originally introduced for use in his ‘Pharmacy’ restaurant, in Notting Hill Gate in the 1990’s. The butterfly wallpaper concept was first shown in the In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida exhibition at Tate Britain in London in 2004 (which also featured works by Sarah Lucas and Angus Fairhurst). Similar in pattern, colour and formation to a kaleidoscopic vision, this claustrophobic grouping of butterflies echoes the Victorian obsessive trend for collecting natural history, and also the escapist but visually electrifying experiences associated with the 1960’s psychedelic era.

Hirst is not the first to direct his graphic sensibility onto the tradition of covering up cracks with rolls of paper. Many other artists before and since have designed works in this decorative medium. The inherent repetition of image is perfectly suited to many of today’s contemporary artists. In the 1960’s the Pop Artist Andy Warhol created a range of cow wallpaper shown at the Leo Castelli Gallery in 1966. Warhol also based his critically acclaimed  flower paintings on a mundane design of wallpaper that was in his mothers house. Warhol’s Cow Wallpaper was initially a formal effort at making wallpaper, a throwback to his creative territory as a graphic designer. By bringing it into the contemporary Pop Art realm he was able to create something with a solid conceptual justification.  Precedents in his work include an installation of his S & H Green Stamps image that was uniquely installed as wallpaper for his 1965 retrospective in Philadelphia; at nearly the same time his Flowers paintings hung en masse in mimicry of wallpaper in Paris.

The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester held an exhibition  ‘Walls Are Talking: Wallpaper, Art and Culture’ it featured wallpaper designed by more than 30 artists, including Damien Hirst, David Shrigley, Thomas Demand and Sarah Lucas. With themes that encompassed subversion, commodification, imprisonment and sexuality, these papers were not exactly for domestic use. Rather, the collection illustrated a crossover between the contemporary art world and home decoration, with some interesting results.

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