Dave Stewart is parting with some amazing pieces from his personal art collection at Sothebys later this month. There is an interesting feature in todays Guardian Newspaper here in the UK. You can read that below, along with details from the catalogue itself. You can find details and download your own copy of the catalogue at the Sothebys Website here for the June 29th Auction and here for the June 30th Auction.
Source : The Guardian
The auction house said the Hirst was one of seven works being sold by the ex-Eurythmics guitarist in its auction of contemporary art at the end of the month.
As well as two Hirsts, Stewart will also sell works by Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and the late Angus Fairhurst.
The painting Dantrolene has been valued at £400,000 to £600,000. According to Sotheby’s contemporary art specialist Alex Branczik it is “a very rare thing” and “one of the largest of its kind to come to the market for several years”.
The painting, which features one-inch spots, was a gift from Hirst after Stewart wrote the song Damien Save Me following the pair’s first boozy encounter in the 1990s at an art exhibition in Docklands, east London. The dedication on the reverse of the work reads: “Being God (for Dave)”.
The song is featured on Stewart’s 1994 solo album Greetings from the Gutter, an album Hirst also created the artwork for.
The two artists have spoken of their friendship before, with Stewart telling one interviewer: “He reminds me of the Joker in Batman. Electric, turned on, alive. He’ll talk for hours, really get you buzzing. [He] says that you’ve got to cope with death before you can handle life.”
Hirst has said of Stewart: “Dave is wacky and wonderful, all over the place. [He’s] got all these things on the go – like one plus one equals five.”
Stewart is also selling a phallic flower work by Gilbert & George which once hung in the converted church he shared with ex-bandmate and partner Annie Lennox.
Being God By Damien Hirst
Being God (for Dave) is an early and important example of Damien Hirst’s pharmaceuticalpaintings and is among the largest paintings with one-inch spots to appear at auction in recentyears.
The artist’s dedication and genesis of this painting are testament to a friendship and anartistic symbiosis between musician and artist which was at the very heart of the 1990s YoungBritish Art scene. Damien Hirst met Dave Stewart in the early 1990s at the opening of a groupexhibition in London’s Docklands, where Hirst and Angus Fairhurst staged Freeze in 1988. Daverecalls, “They were giving away Beck’s beer, and so we both got really drunk.
He was incrediblyconfrontational. Funny. Exciting. By the end we were under the table – had about 12 bottles each.”(Richard Rosenfeld, ‘How we met: Dave Stewart and Damien Hirst’ in The Independent, 9thOctober 1994).Dave says of Damien: “He reminds me of the Joker in Batman. Electric, turned on, alive. He’ll talkfor hours. Really get you buzzing. Says that you’ve got to cope with death before you can handlelife.” Damien says of Dave: “Dave is wacky and wonderful. All over the place. Got all these thingson the go – like one plus one equals five. A nutter. Mad ideas – like Warhol. But completely incontrol” (Ibid).
The night they met, Dave quickly penned the lyrics to his song Damien Save Me about theirdrunken meeting of minds as they swaggered through the streets: ‘Damien save me, and be myguide, sooner or later, we’re all gonna die.. Damien save me, and be my god, sooner or later, I’mgonna die like a dog” which featured on Dave’s solo album Greetings from the Gutter released in1995. “When I played it to him he just said, ‘Wow’, and kissed me.” (Ibid). In response, Damienmade Being God (for Dave) and this painting and the story behind it is testament to their closecollaboration at a hugely significant moment in the recent history of British culture, where musicand art collided and ushered in a new era of Brit Pop and Young British Art.
Damien collaboratedwith Dave for the cover art of the album, in which he lined up brightly coloured gas cylinders in thesame way that he arranged coloured dots here. The same year Damien collaborated with the band Blur, directing the video for their song Country House, and more recently he has created album artfor The Hours. With two decades of hindsight it is easy to say that the nascent YBA movementwhich Hirst was spearheading in the 1990s was groundbreaking, not just in terms of theconceptually-based art that he was producing at the time but also in the ways in which it wasexhibited and promoted, something which was clear to Dave at the time: “He was breaking downwalls not just for himself but for all the other artists too”.
Being God (for Dave) enshrines this moment in art history. It belongs to the breakthrough cycle ofpaintings that brought Hirst to international attention and garnered widespread critical acclaimfollowing the first exhibition of ‘Young British Artists’ staged at the Saatchi Gallery in 1992, in whichHirst exhibited his much lauded The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Livingand A Thousand Years, his exhibition of Mother and Child Divided at the Venice Biennale in 1993and his subsequent nomination for the Turner Prize in 1994, the year of this work.Hirst created his first versions of the spot paintings painted directly onto the walls of thewarehouse in his exhibition Freeze in 1988. The first works on canvas date from the early 1990sand they were made in parallel with the Medicine Cabinets and the Pill Cabinets.
Belonging to thisearliest group of works on canvas, Being God (for Dave) and Acridine both betray the handmadequality of Hirst’s earliest paintings, despite their purported automation. Throughout his career, Hirsthas been preoccupied with colour which, on a formal level, he interrogates in the pharmaceuticalpaintings. Self-restricted by a grid, the only variation is the colour and tone of the dots, which,according to the formula, remain perennially unrelated while enticing the eye to find patterns, afutile exercise which is symptomatic of our desperate desire to establish order from the chaos ofnature. The smaller the dots and the greater their replication, the more they vie against the retinaand play with our spatial awareness. This is particularly evident in Being God (for Dave) where the930 spots create a dizzying chromatic grid. Incredibly rare in this scale, there are only three largerpaintings with one-inch spots in Hirst’s 1997 catalogue.
Like the sculptural works, the kaleidoscopic paintings express Damien’s life-long fascination withthe medical sciences and the enormity of the accomplishment of modern science in its attempt toprolong the inevitability of death. In the pharmaceutical paintings, the panoply of coloured dotsstands in for the myriad pills and palliatives that mankind has developed to blunt the ravages ofdisease and prolong life. As such, the pharmaceutical paintings enshrine the fundamental tenetsof Hirst’s entire oeuvre, by interrogating the common ground between the traditionally distinct andantithetical faculties of science and art. In a pseudo-deification of medicine, Hirst taps into ourblind credence in the restorative powers of these chemically engineered life-givers.
In the process,he highlights the usurpation of spiritual faith by modern faith in drugs. In the vacuum left behind bythe decline of organised religion in the modern world, Hirst presents us with a new pantheon ofsaints for our adulation, each individually named and endowed with its own unique healing power.While the other paintings in the series, such as Acridine, are named after specific substances, thetitle of this painting, Being God, references mankind’s ambition to cheat death and outdo nature, touse chemistry and the life sciences to break the ordained cycle of life and death.
Dave Stewart on Gilbert And George
Annie and I in some ways did the same thing at the beginning of the Eurythmics almost copying them in a way; we lived together and also felt separate and apart from everything else that wasgoing on and by hiding away and doing that we did come up with something that was very differentmusically at the time.