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Pondering Over the Dilemmas of Human Existence

dead shark artpiece

Who knew being philosophical meant shelling out such an exorbitant amount of money? Read on to find out why!

What picture does your mind conjure when you read “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living?” Something very serious, no doubt! That is what our mind came up with too after all! But the reality is even more intimidating! Don’t believe us? Well, see for yourself!

The credit of coming up with the Dead Shark art piece goes to Damien Hirst. And it was titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by him – he also intended it to be just a statement that he used to describe the idea of death to himself. The title of this artwork alone conjures up sombre images but when you actually get up close and personal with it, the reality is even more intimidating. The artwork is quite elaborate, intricate and complex, but not in the way you think of – it has more to do with the feelings it evokes and the thoughts it forces you to confront.

dead shark artpiece

WHAT: Dead Shark Artpiece
PRICE: Rs. 94 crore

Consisting of a 14-foot tiger shark preserved in a tank of formaldehyde, the artwork has managed to embed itself in popular culture as one of the most iconic images of contemporary art. It weighs 23 tons and the shark is contained within a steel and glass vitrine divided into three cubes and was picked up by an anonymous hedge-fund manager for around `94 crore. Considered to be an iconic work of British art, it has managed to become a symbol of British art across the world. Charles Saatchi funded the artwork in 1991 and he agreed to pay for whatever artwork Hirst wanted to create. And it was sold in 2004. A fisherman was commissioned to catch the shark and it was caught off Hervey Bay in Queensland, Australia. The instructions were simply that it needed to be something “big enough to eat you.”

The idea behind the shark is that since it is completely isolated from its natural setting, it is completely frozen and preserved. For most, it is their first time coming so close to a shark and since it is not in an aquarium or television, it is not filtered through any media and thus, offers a direct experience of the shark. This brings the viewer face to face with the reality and physicality of human existence including religion, death and birth.

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