Mother and Child (Divided)
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ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

What’s more iconic than the Mother and Child?

The Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus have been depicted in innumerable works of art for…well, as long as the whole Christianity thing has been popular.“Bad boy” of the British contemporary art scene Damien Hirst decided to put his spin on the subject. Fair warning: it’s not your average baby on a queen’s lap.

A big fan of representing the biology of death in his work, Hirst is best known for his sculptures of dead animals in formaldehyde. This one is a cow and calf, cut in half.

The bovines have both been split down the middle, and each half is in its own display case, making for four tanks total. Two legs per tank. They are displayed with just enough room between the carcasses that a visitor can walk between them and see all the lovely stuff on the inside.  Ew.

Hirst went to Catholic school as a kid…maybe he was bullied? I guess that, like the symbolism of Mother and Child, these cows will also never disappear, what with them being immune to decomposition and all. In fact, they’re duplicating! If you can’t make it to Oslo to see the original, there’s one just like it in London at the Tate Modern.

Though their legacy is longer lasting than a Big Mac, as a vegetarian my only real opinion on the piece is...poor Bessie.