Damien Hirst Has Been Transformed Into a Little Baby Through the Magic of Hollywood Special Effects

Whimsical hyperrealistic paintings and sculptures are going on view in “Beyond Reality” at Opera Gallery.

Valter Casotto's Damien Hirst from "Baby Artists (Paul, Maurizio, Damien)." Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

An exhibition in London will forever alter the mental image conjured when people refer to Damien Hirst as an enfant terrible of contemporary art. A Benjamin Button-esque sculpture of the bad boy of British art by the Italian artist Valter Casotto is on view among other hyperrealistic works at a playful gallery show in London’s Opera Gallery this month.

Casotto’s Hirst-baby is lying among an array of toys including a miniature shark, cows, and a butterfly (common motifs in grown-up Hirst’s art). He is in good company: Casotto has created a sort of artist-kindergarten with miniature versions of Maurizio Cattelan and Paul McCarthy as well. The artist, who got his introduction to sculpture through his work on prosthetic makeup for movies including Harry Potter and The Hobbit, is also showing, for whatever reason, a large-scale sculpture of David Bowie’s eyes.

Valter Casotto’s Baby Artists (Paul, Maurizio, Damien). Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Titled “Beyond Reality,” the show runs December 13 through 28. Aside from Casotto’s impish takes on contemporary figures, the show—which is dedicated to spotlighting hyperrealist artists—includes sculptural works by the special effects guru John Humphreys and Marc Sijan’s sculptures of society’s overlooked figures including security guards, and cleaning ladies.

These will be shown alongside photorealistic paintings by Tigran Tsitoghdzyan, Mike Dargas, Michael Moebius and Yigal Ozeri. Meanwhile, trompe-l’oeil puzzlers by Romanian artist Nicolae Maniu and the Korean artist Lee Jung Woong bring a surrealist turn to the hyperrealist party.

See a few more of the works included in the show below.

Lee Jung Woong, Brush (2018). Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Marc Sijan and portrait. Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Yigal Ozeri working on a painting in his studio. Image courtesy Opera Gallery.


Marc Sijan, The Maid. Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Mike Dargas in the studio. Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Marc Sijan, Butler(2015). Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Yigal Ozeri Untitled; Olya in the Field (2017). Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

Marc Sijan, Standing Guard (2018). Image courtesy Opera Gallery.

“Beyond Reality” is on view December 13 through 28 at Opera Gallery, 134 New Bond Street London.

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