Excess Through the Gift Shop: 10 Head-Scratching Bits of Damien Hirst Memorabilia You Can Buy at His Tate Show
Though Damien Hirst's infamous sculpture "For the Love of God," the human skull decked out with 8,601 diamonds and rumored to be worth £50 million ($79 million), is being watched at all times by two security guards stationed beside it in a darkened room installed inside the Tate's enormous Turbine Hall, the Telegraph reports that you can still walk away from Hirst's new retrospective with a skull of your own. For the frugal Hirst collector, the London museum is offering 50 unique editions of another skull sculpture, "Hallucinatory Head," in the exhibition's final room, its gift shop for the low, low price of £36,800 — just $58,400. It's almost stealing!
Now that the exhibition has opened to the public, the exclusive skull editions are likely to make like the show's live butterflies in the show and fly out of their display cases. Caveat emptor, though: Asked whether the editioned sculptures will maintain their value, Hirst cautioned, "Maybe on eBay you might be all right for a bit."
Should, however, £36,800 still prove to be too much for you, never fear! As at the Gagosian "Spot Painting" show, which offered such priceless Hirst knicknacks as "I [SPOT] D H" shirts and pins, the Tate gift shop offers a number of other opportunities to pick up a bit of Hirst. Here are some of ARTINFO's favorites:
— For the big spenders, a £310 ($500) deck chair; rolls of butterfly-print wallpaper at £700 ($1,100) a pop; or a 12-piece sets of china plates for £10,500 ($16,700).
— For the more modest of means, the Damien Hirst "I Am Become Death" plate (£25 or $40 for one), which features concentric rings of brightly colored butterflies against an appetizing, blood-red backdrop.
— The elegant "Pill" silk scarf for just £125 ($200).
— Anamorphic cups and saucers, available in six designs including "For the Love of God" (pictured), "Virtue," and "The Incomplete Truth," for £12.50 ($20) each, or £60 ($95) for a set of six.
— For mildly sadistic parents: A "Hymn" children's tee (£25 or $40), which features an image of the same-named sculpture — a human torso with its insides exposed.
— The Damien Hirst "Pairs" card deck (£6.50 or $10), a Memory-like game that challenges players to remember which Hirst piece is under which card — a task that performers in his classic "Twins" installation at the Tate in 2009 would surely have appreciated to help them pass the time.
— And our absolute favorite: The £14.95 ($24) set of "Spot" magnets, essentially a package of simple circular magnets in bright monochrome colors. You could turn your fridge door into the unofficial 12th venue for Hirst's worldwide "Spot Painting" exhibition!
Museum-goers nauseated by all the merchandising may be inclined to visit the show's "Pharmacy" (1992) installation for pain medicine — though they will likely find the selection sorely lacking.