"For the Love of God" (2007), Damien Hirst's famous platinum cast of a human skull set with 8,601 diamonds, will be on display as part of the major Hirst survey exhibition "The Weight of Things of the artist will be on display at MUCA Munich from 26 October 2023. The internationally renowned artwork will be exhibited in the MUCA bunker, but for a limited time only until the end of January 2024.
Since its debut in 2007, "For the Love of God" has become one of the most most acclaimed works of contemporary art have become. The work of art consists of 32 platinum plates set with 8,601 diamonds of VVS to flawless quality, weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats.
The teeth adorning the skull belong to the original skull, which was obtained from a London taxidermist. Extensive bioarchaeological analysis and radiocarbon dating have revealed that the skull dates from between 1720 and 1810, probably from a 35-year-old man of European descent. The artwork is intended to serve as a touching reminder of the transience of human existence and to provoke reflection on the impermanence of life.
The title of the artwork is inspired by the exclamations Hirst's mother made when she heard about his planned new creations. The artist explains that his mother would often exclaim: "For the love of God, what are you going to do next!
Hirst's childhood memories of the comic "2000 AD" influenced the inclusion of a prominent central diamond in the artwork. Specifically, he invokes a character called "Tharg the Mighty" whose forehead is adorned with a circular emblem representing a powerful, god-like figure with control over the universe. Hirst felt that the artwork needed an additional element, similar to a third eye that connects to Jesus and his Father.
"For the Love of God" embodies Hirst's fascination with diamonds and underlines their inherent uncertainty about their value. The artwork confronts the competitive nature of the diamond industry and the capitalist society that sustains it.
The work will be on display until 28 January 2024 as part of Damien Hirst's first solo exhibition. "The Weight of Things exhibited in Germany in the listed building MUCA Bunker next to the large halls. The dark history of this former World War II bunker provides a dramatic backdrop for Hirst's diamond-studded platinum cast of a skull, offering a rare opportunity to see this iconic 21st-century artwork in a setting that adds an extra layer of fascination and reflection.