The heat is on in the art world! Eugénio Merino’s shocking piece titled ‘For the Love of Gold’ depicts Damien Hirst encased in a white display cube--similar to the ones he uses--committing suicide with a gunshot to the temple.
The Damien Hirst effigy wears a tee shirt printed with the famous $100 million diamond skull that Hirst titled ‘For the Love of God.’ The art installation is meant to be ironic--but is it offensive?
What strikes the most is the hyper-realism in Merino’s Damien Hirst sculpture, as genuine human hair, realistic-looking blood and glass eyes have been incorporated into its design. The spooky sculpture was exhibited at the ARCO 2009 Madrid Art Fair.
For Merino, the piece reflects all that is left for Hirst to do in order to surpass his master accomplishment of having the most expensive work of art of all time--kill himself, so that his works become even more valuable.
The critic also refers to the individualist character of Hirst, when he organized an auction to sell his pieces. This was a clear subversion of art market order, underlining his supreme power over art galleries.
Eugénio Merino’s piece was said to be bought on the opening day by a Florida collector. The price? $33,500 USD.