File photo of Damien Hirst’s Diamond skull on display at the White Cube gallery in London. EPA/WHITE CUBE.
Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted skull sculpture will go on display as part of the first major retrospective of his career to be staged in his native Britain.
“For the Love of God,” which fetched the then equivalent of $100 million in 2007 when it was sold to a consortium of investors including the artist himself, is one of Hirst’s most famous and controversial works.
A life-size platinum cast of an 18th century human skull has been covered with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a 52.4 carat pink stone which has been valued alone at four million pounds ($6.3 million).
Like much of Hirst’s work, the sculpture is a commentary on mortality and death as well as market forces, although to some critics it amounts to little more than “bling.”
The work will go on show in Tate Modern’s cavernous Turbine Hall as a free display, but also accompanies a retrospective being staged in the same London gallery.
That exhibition, running from April 4th to September 9th 2012 will bring together more than 70 of Hirst’s works, including a shark suspended in formaldehyde and a bisected cow and calf.
Also on display will be examples of other Hirst trademark pieces — cabinets lined with medicine, spin and spot paintings and butterfly images.
The retrospective at Tate Modern will be open during the Summer Olympics in London and is part of the London 2012 Festival which aims to showcase British art during the event.