The most successful (important?) living artist Damien Hirst is selling his Golden Calf. The work is part of his ongoing rumination on death which I suppose is obvious, as it is a dead animal in formaldehyde, so not so very abstract.
I’m not certain what one can tell about the world at-large by the person nominated as “best artist”. But, if dollars are the measure, Hirst is today’s “it” artist and has been for a decade or so.
Want to own it? Be prepared to write a check for $16 to $24 million if you’re looking to add Calf to your living room. Death is a curious theme to ride to artistic stardom, but one which is universal, it touches everyone. But, it’s an experience we can not share directly…so it’s the anti-experience of social media, and while media reports passings pretty routinely, how we “see” it or if we see it at all varies widely. For instance, we know lots of people have died in Iraq, but what have we seen.
I have no idea if this is any of Hirst’s motivation in his work, but if Art leads culture, we may “see” things differently in the years to come.