maps

Damien Hirst Created Cities Out of Blades and Safety Pins

Damien Hirst's 'Black Scalpel Cityscapes' cut at the military's "surgical strikes."

by Emerson Rosenthal
25 November 2016, 12:30pm

Paris, 2014. Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, zips, stitching needles, pins, stainless steel studs, safety pins, champagne caps and wire, tourist souvenirs, french francs, condoms and gloss paint on canvas, 96 x 144 in. (243.8 x 365.8 cm). Photos by Prudence Cuming Associates LTD, courtesy of White Cube.

This article was originally published on November 13, 2014 but we think it still rocks!

The words "deft", "sharp" and "cutting" all come to mind when trying to describe Damien Hirst's Black Scalpel Cityscapes— the massive "portraits of living cities" are created entirely out of surgical blades, fish hooks, stainless steel studs, and gloss paint. 

The painting above represents a bird's-eye view of San Francisco, as it might be seen from a space telescope, drone, or Google Earth. Explains the press release, "The Black Scalpel Cityscapes make reference to the military procedure of ‘surgical bombing’ or ‘surgical strikes.’ [...] The perspective of an aerial map minimizes the life beneath it to a series of detached systems and patterns of collective existence; recalling the imagery used in the films Powers of Ten (1968, 1977) by Charles and Ray Eames, as well as the compressed, slow motion, time-lapse footage of US towns in Godfrey Reggio’s cult film Koyaanisqatsi (1982)." 

This is far from the first time Hirst has used blades in his artwork. In the past, he has described them as "dark but at the same time light."

Below, check out images of Black Scalpel Cityscapes

A close-up of Black Scalpel Cityscapes. 

San Francisco, 2014. Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, kraft knife blades, zips, stitching needles, aluminium filings, pins, stainless steel studs, lead shot and gloss paint on canvas, 72 x 108 in. (182.9 x 274.3 cm).

Washington, 2014. Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, zip stops, stitching needles, tattoo needles, aluminium filings, pins, stainless steel studs, fish hooks, safety pins and gloss paint on canvas. 72 x 108 in. (182.9 x 274.3 cm). 

Rio, 2014. Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, zips, stitching needles, aluminium filings, pins, stainless steel studs, fish hooks, steel wire cutting spool and gloss paint on canvas. 78 1/16 x 113 3/8 in. (198.3 x 288 cm). 

Hong Kong, 2014. Scalpel blades, skin graft blades, zips, stitching needles, aluminium filings, pins, fish hooks and gloss paint on canvas. 72 x 108 in. (182.9 x 274.3 cm).

Leeds 2014 (left), detail. London 2014, detail (right).

An installation shot of Black Scalpel Cityscapes

Black Scalpel Cityscapes was on display at White Cube gallery in São Paolo from November 2014 until January 2015. To learn more about the artist click here.

h/t Designboom

Related:

Christie's Made A Skate Vid To Promote An Auction

It's Art: Jeff Koons Recycles Birkin Bags

Incredible Cityscape Photo Collages Make You Feel Like The King