Tempers flare over Damien Hirst ‘copy’ of African art

Once again UK artist Damien Hirst has found himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. The bad-boy of British art has been accused of plagiarising an ancient Nigerian brass artwork in his show at the Venice Biennale. “Golden Heads (Female)” features in Hirst’s exhibit “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable”, which is on display at the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana museums during the Biennale.

Nigerian visual artist Victor Ehikhamenor says Hirst’s piece copies a classical African artwork found in 1938 in Ife, Nigeria without properly crediting the original Ife craftsmen. “He just made an imitation of this art”, Ehikhamenor said in an interview. “I really found that it was dishonest that something like that is going on”. Continue reading

Damien Hirst gallery crowned RIBA prize winner

The UK’s most prestigious architecture prize was last night awarded to a new gallery housing the private art collection of Damien Hirst.

Hailed as a ‘bold and confident contribution to the best of UK architecture’ the Newport Street Gallery was crowned winner of the 2016 Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) Stirling Prize at a ceremony in London. Now in its twenty-first year, the prize is awarded to a UK building which fulfils a range of criteria including:

  • design vision;
  • innovation and originality;
  • capacity to stimulate, engage and delight occupants and visitors;
  • accessibility and sustainability;
  • how fit the building is for its purpose; and
  • the level of client satisfaction.

Designed by Caruso St John architects, the Newport Street Gallery involved the remodelling of three listed Victorian industrial buildings in Vauxhall, which once housed carpentry and scene painting workshops for London’s West End theatres. Caruso St John’s design also incorporated brand new additions finished with a specially created hard pale red brick to resemble the original listed buildings. The result, according to one member of the Stirling Prize judging panel is ‘a continuous and coherent sequence of light filled gallery spaces’. Continue reading