A YBA (Young British Artist) and reportedly Britain’s richest living artist (net worth valued at $344 million dollars!), Damien Hirst is known for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved in formaldehyde. His was the huge (14’) shark reportedly sold to a hedge fund billionaire for $8 million, prompting an English fishmonger to suggest that anyone could purchase the stuffed shark in his shop window for a lot less. Hirst has always stirred controversy. He certainly has a sense of the art market. Just before the economic downturn, he sold a complete show at Sotheby’s raising the wee sum of $198 million. Damien Hirst is also known for his made ‘spin’ paintings, and ‘spot’ paintings – rows of randomly coloured circles created by his assistants.
But I love the butterflies. They adorn deck chairs at de Bellefeuille. They hover over a beautiful red heart print – two already sold at 28 000 pounds! And they stand in their individual, real-life colourful glory in separate prints, giving art lovers with a limited budget the chance to ‘own a Damien Hirst’ for less than $5,000. But hurry! Few remain. Eerie -but-beautiful videos of Damien Hirst’s own skull (yes, exactly like an X-ray) sold for $65,000: two were snapped up, such is the power of this marketer-artist. He is also famed for his pharmacy themes. Not only for his resto of the same name in London (which closed), but for his paintings of pill cabinets – no subtle reference there! A lovely one in this series can be seen at Galerie de Bellefeuille. When you are in town for a visit, grab a taxi and rush, run, go…and see this amazing show. If nothing else, go to the gallery site and view the works of the Damien Hirst. There, the butterflies are free.
1367 Greene Avenue
Monday – Friday 10 – 6 pm
Saturday 10 – 6 pm
Sunday (rare for galleries to be open. So use this opportunity !) 12 – 5:30 pm
514-933-4406 (ask for the knowledgeable Daniel)
WHILE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Vago: a local treasure of Italian cuisine, complete with white tablecloths, but completely low key. Keep your eyes peeled. You will surely note some of Montreal’s high profile politicians, not to mention gorgeous socialites!
1336 Greene Avenue