Damien Hirst Has Just Released Photos of His New Impressionist-Inspired Paintings to Raise Money for Italy’s Struggling Children

Damien Hirst. Courtesy Fondazione Prada.

Damien Hirst is partnering with the Milan-based Fondazione Prada to sell a limited number of new photographic prints in an effort to raise money for Save the Children’s efforts in Italy.

Proceeds from the sale, which is on through through Sunday, September 27, will go to “Rewrite the Future,” the charity’s campaign to support children and their families in Italy who have been affected by school closures in recent months.

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An Old Painter Stares at His Hands

Georg Baselitz, “Maniera” (2019), oil and gold varnish on canvas, 64 15/16 x 35 1/16 inches (© Georg Baselitz, photo © Jochen Littkemann, Berlin, all images courtesy White Cube)

LONDON — There is a no-holds-barred, let’s-smash-up-the-kitchen-boys, bestial uproaringness about the early work of Georg Baselitz.

And much of this is in evidence in his treatment of hands and feet. The West German police seized an early painting called “The Big Night Down the Drain” (1962-63) — it was on display in his very first exhibition in West Berlin — on the grounds of obscenity.

And, yes, it is very easy to regard this early painting as obscene. It is offensive. It is ugly. It is nasty in the extreme. It is cocking a snook at any manifestation of refinement that might just happen along. It is tearing up the rule book. It is saying: the new art is like this, take it or leave it.

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A Second Life For Socialist Realism

Wojciech Fangor: Forging the Scythes, 1954, egg tempera on plywood, approx. 9 by 24½ feet overall.COURTESY MUSEUM OF WARSAW

In 2013, curators at the Museum of Warsaw uncovered a hidden mural. Painted in 1954 by Wojciech Fangor (1922–2015), the composition shows three blacksmiths working together on a single scythe blade amid the smithy’s dark-red flames. Its depiction of collective labor was the sort of thing encouraged at the time it was commissioned, when Poland’s political and cultural life was dependent on Moscow. But the mural was covered with a thin plywood wall shortly after completion for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.¹ It had never been shown to the public.

The discovery came on the eve of a modernization project. The museum exhibited Forging the Scythes before it closed for renovations, and at the opening, Fangor put his signature on the previously unsigned wall. The artist posed for photographs in front of the painting, arms outstretched in a triumphant gesture. It was unusual for an artist in this part of the world—and for the museum—to so forcefully embrace old Socialist Realist work.

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The Sculptural Politics of Cacao

Cedrick Tamasala: Untitled, 2016, ink and graphite on paper, 27 1/2 by 39 1/4.COURTESY KOW, BERLIN

In another world, Black artist would be able to create, primarily, for audiences with whom they share a culture. But today, more often than not, they are assimilated into, and made legible within, the Western visual regime. This has certainly been the case for the Congolese Plantation Workers Art League (abbreviated CATPC for the group’s French name, Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise), a collective, established in 2014, of artists and agricultural workers who create sculptures made of chocolate; a number of them are employed on plantations owned by the multinational corporation Unilever, where they grow cacao. Their sculptures are made of material at once ready-at-hand and powerfully symbolic. The specter of the non-native cacao plant’s violent history haunts the region, and also the use of chocolate in CATPC’s work.

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Damien Hirst Sells Limited-Edition Prints to Support Italian Children Affected by Pandemic

Damien Hirst ‘Cherry Blossoms’, 2020.PHOTOGRAPHED BY PRUDENCE CUMING ASSOCIATES/©DAMIEN HIRST AND SCIENCE LTD

Together with the Fondazione Prada in Milan, British artist Damien Hirst has launched a new charity campaign to aid Italian children whose education has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic. Hirst created four new limited-edition prints that were made available online today, with all profits from the sales donated to Save the Children, an international nonprofit dedicated to providing free access to educational, economic, and healthcare opportunities to children. In June, Save the Children launched the program “Riscriviamo il futuro” (Rewrite the Future), which today has established 90 educational spaces across Italy, in addition to providing financial support to vulnerable families.

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The Cheekiest Animal Photos From the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Ayala Fishaimer, “Tough Negotiations” (2020), Israel

“It’s the circle of life and it moves us all,” the eternal lyrics of Lion King‘s opening song tell us. But if you look at the finalists of the 2020 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards, you’ll be reminded that the animal kingdom also has a humorous side.

The annual contest, founded by photographers Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, celebrates wildlife with lighthearted images that capture animals in hilarious poses. The contest is supported by the wildlife conservation nonprofit the Born Free Foundation in the United Kingdom.

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