Cows on the Cutting Edge:" Sculptor Damien Hirst Makes a Morbid SoHo Debut

By Plagens, Peter | Newsweek, May 27, 1996 | Go to article overview

Cows on the Cutting Edge:" Sculptor Damien Hirst Makes a Morbid SoHo Debut


Plagens, Peter, Newsweek


ENGLISH ARTIST DAMIEN HIRST SEEMS like a real nice, un-self-conscious guy. The day before his big debut at Larry Gagosian's SoHo gallery earlier this month, Hirst, 30, took a pull on a Heineken and said, "I think the moment you become your own idea of yourself, you've lost everything." So it wasn't a snarling, enigmatic artist's persona that packed Hirst's opening with black-clad artsies and such celebrities as David Bowie, John Waters and Anna Wintour. It was the cut-up cows in glass tanks of formaldehyde.

Hey, it could have been worse. Hirst had to postpone this show from last September. "The new cow piece replaces the one I really wanted to do," he said, "the dead cows f---ing, without formaldehyde. We called up the environmental department and told them what we'd have: rotting animals, but with filters to clean the air. They said if you do that, we'll shut you down."

But city bureaucrats couldn't shut down the art world's hope for a succes de scandale, especially in this flat market. Ever since Manet outraged 1865 Paris by painting a prostitute as a goddess-like "Olympia," artists have pushed the envelope of propriety. Back in the dada days, Marcel Duchamp tried to put a urinal in a sculpture show. In the 1960s, Piero Manzoni canned his own excrement, and Hermann Nitsch splattered himself with animal blood and guts. Andy Warhol made paintings in the '70s by peeing on canvases. Jeff Koons rang in the '90s with explicit pictures of himself and his Italian porn-star wife. Each of these gambits caused a little stir and kept the artist's name afloat in the sea of novelty.

It's tougher to shock the bourgeoisie today-what with Jerry Springer's TV show, A. M. Homes's novels and Ultimate Fighting on pay-per-view. The New York Times critic found he liked Hirst's show. Advertising mogul Charles Saatchi has reportedly bought the cow piece for a cool half million. Oh, there was some sniffing at the opening--by a writer who said he'd have to delay his dinner reservations a couple of hours, and an artist who claimed he did a dead dog 20 years ago. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Cows on the Cutting Edge:" Sculptor Damien Hirst Makes a Morbid SoHo Debut
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.