infogiulia caruanawork

here lies
damien hirst

Scope

Publication & Application Design

Context

E-Book Design
(570-563-DW)

Year

2019

Challenge

To design a large format hardcover art book, spreads, and mobile application that represent the prolific contemporary artist, Damien Hirst

(For more information, please see desktop site)

about the artist

Damien Hirst is a controversial name in the art world. With an estimated net worth of $300 million, he is allegedly the world’s richest living artist. His work spans a variety of mediums, including paintings, illustration, sculptures and installations.

‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,’ an installation consisting of a tiger shark preserved in a vitrine of formaldehyde, is perhaps one of Hirst’s most notorious pieces. The installation explores the dichotomy between life and death, a central theme in the artist’s work.

Hirst’s methodology of hiring a team of artists to mass-produce his ideas on his behalf has been met with scrutiny by critics who consider him a fraud.

process

After delving into the artist’s history, process and intentions, and absorbing countless opinion pieces, articles and video interviews, a series of directions were developed based on the central themes of his work: life and death, money, and megalomania. The chosen idea, the most ambitious option, involved hours of sketching, testing and meeting with hired professionals to create an acrylic book casing which surpassed the scope of the project.

outcome

Here Lies Damien Hirst is a ‘posthumous’ reflection on the life and work of the prolific contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. The idea for the cover and glass case were inspired by his controversial installation titled ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991), which displayed a dead shark floating in a tank of formaldehyde. This project was meant to predict the way in which Hirst might showcase his own death, i.e. in the form of an art piece that would be shown in a gallery. The title of the project is also double entendre, symbolizing Hirst’s death, as well as the backlash the artist faces from critics view him as a fraud or a ‘liar.’

The app serves as a visual for viewers of a fictional Damien Hirst exhibition. Users can enter Gallery mode (light mode), an online, interactive version of the book, to gain more insight into each of his pieces, or enter Guestbook mode (dark mode), to leave their own personalised message about the artist. The concept was inspired by online obituaries, the two different modes representing the polarity of life and death.

book cover
& acrylic case
A case made of acrylic and MDF holding a book called "Here Lies Damien Hirst," with the artist's face on the cover
spreads
An animation showing the Here Lies Damien Hirst book spreads
app
infogiulia caruanawork
here lies damien hirst

editorial & application

Damien Hirst's face with mouth open
A silver can with no label suspended at an angle
A linocut illustration of a black crow
Galerie NuEdge logomark , a symbol representing a doorway that can be interpreted as an N or a U
the great debate

advertising campaign

2x

poster

"2X" stacked in a bold black typeface