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Artist Damien Hirst’s giant interpretation of the union jack flag filled the entire floor of the Olympic Stadium as part of the magnificent celebration of the arts in Britain.
In recognition of his central role to British art, a specially commissioned work by Hirst was included as part of the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games. The colossal 130 meter wide red, white and blue spin painting covered the entirety of the Stadium floor and was filled with the celebrating Olympic athletes as they entered the arena. It is the largest reproduction of a Hirst piece ever produced.
The work, entitled ‘Beautiful Union Jack Celebratory Patriotic Olympic Explosion in an Electric Storm Painting’ (2012), was described by the Olympic committee as epitomising, “the dynamic, anarchic energy of British Pop Art.” It forms part of Hirst’s iconic series of spin paintings dating from the early 90s. Originally inspired by spin stalls at school fêtes, Hirst describes the paintings as a, “massive explosion of energy, full of life, colour and optimism”.
A selection of key spin paintings, including a collection which rotate mechanically in eternal replication of their fabrication process, can currently be seen at Tate Modern’s major ‘Damien Hirst’ exhibition, on display for the Olympic period until September 9th.
Under Artistic Director Kim Gavin, the Closing Ceremony – entitled ‘A Symphony of British Music’ – was a celebration both of the achievements of athletes at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and the significance of Britain’s contribution to the international art and music scene over the last 50 years. Since Hirst first came to public attention in 1988, when he conceived and curated ‘Freeze’, an exhibition in a disused London warehouse of his own work and that of his contemporaries, he has become widely recognised as one of the most influential and renowned artists of his generation. Hirst's contribution is acknowledged by Tate Modern's staging of the largest survey of his work to date in the UK as part of the 2012 Cultural Olympics.
images © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012
The final result:
above images courtesy of AP and Reuters