It is no secret that Damien Hirst has always had a soft-spot for London. Originally from Bristol but having grown up in Leeds, the artist, art collector and entrepreneur worked for two years in the early part of his working life on buildings sites in London before studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.
One of the events that started to get Hirst noticed as a talented and unique artist was a student exhibition entitled ‘Freeze’, in an abandoned London Port Authority administration block in London’s Docklands, of which the young art student was the organiser. Yes we can safely say that London and Damien Hirst have had a mutual fascination that has proved invaluable in developing the iconic artist’s career.
Now Damien Hirst’s passion for London has reached a pivotal level with the announcement that the Damien Hirst London gallery will open by 2014 in Vauxhall.
The gallery is to be made out of an old theatre production workshop and will feature all of Hirst’s personal collections. The unprecedented art gallery will include a restaurant, a café and even a souvenir shop, and will, in Damien Hirst’s own words, be “about as big as Whitechapel.”
Talking about the forthcoming London art gallery, the artist told the Observer newspaper:
“It’s my Saatchi gallery, basically. A place to show my collection of contemporary art. It feels bad having it all in crates. It’s basically Francis Bacon and beyond.”
Asides the works of Francis Bacon being featured at the gallery, other artists include, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Tracey Emin and Richard Prince.
Damien Hirst’s own exhibition is currently on display at the Tate Modern until September 9 2012.