Having been a curious fan of Damien Hirst’s work for some time. I decided to take a trip to The Hirst retrospective at the Tate Modern in September last year. I remember going and seeing The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living and thinking upon first glance, well its not so big, Then after looking at it for a while suddenly I began to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of detail the piece depicts. The glass distorts the content of the vitrine.
I remember looking at the shark in the blue formaldehyde and at that moment feeling a sense of calmness, which as I began to move around the vitrine changed to awe, realising that this shark in this environment was completely out of context and yet it still had that element of fear to it, the realisation that it could easily kill you and yet it was dead, in a way I feel this is one of Hirst’s most successful pieces and one that I have always wanted to use in one way or another in my own work or at least its ideals.
I painted the shark for this icon design over a number of days and nights. Starting out with a sketch then I began to block in the tones and add highlights. This is my favourite part of the process, painting all of the details. If anyone would like to see this work in more detail let me know and I will upload a high resolution version.