Category Archives: Newport Street Gallery

Dan Colen’s ‘Sweet Liberty’ at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery, London

Dan Colen at the Newport Street Gallery

Another fun exhibition – Dan Colen’s ‘Sweet Liberty’ –  at Damien Hirst’s spacious Newport Street Gallery has now  been extended until January 28th.

Note: There seem to be road works everywhere in Westminster so if you’re driving be persistent – there is a way through!!

Colen examines notions of identity and individuality, set against a portrait of contemporary America.

Haiku (2015-17)

His works are said to be read as self-portraits. Colen (born 1979 in New Jersey) must have been feeling quite down when he made this big sad Scooby Doo (Haiku 2015-17).

There are a variety of fascinating shapes punched through the walls (Livin and Dyin) of Wile E. Coyote, Kool-Aid Man, Roger Rabbit and of Colen naked. The walls are around 1 foot thick. I wonder how they were originally knocked through and whether they will be made good completely or become a permanent display.

Untitled (Me and You) 2006-7

This mysterious painting Untitled (Me and You 2006-7)  is one of my favourite works from this exhibition. It is one of a series of Colen’s paintings based stills from Disney’s Pinocchio showing a candle on the workbench of Pinocchio’s creator – Geppetto.


A Great Weekend in Oslo, Norway, and a Visit to The Astrup Fearnley Museum

The Asstrup Fearnley Modern Art Museum

Loved our trip to the Astrup Fearnley  Modern Art Museum on the bay. Couldn’t understand why the collector bothered with so many of Damien Hirst’s half animals in formalin. When there was a scandal about keeping children’s brains I turned out my mounted specimens of cancers but I thought of offering the museum the head of my fractured right femur. I still have it in a jar in my bathroom cabinet – much more interesting and educational that half a cow.

Oslo harbour

Lovely view of the harbour complete with two-masted sailing vessel. Just not enough time to go across to the Viking museum.

Cindy Sherman as demure lady



I very much liked their collection of Cindy Sherman’s photographs. Amazing what she can turn herself into.



Untitiled #152



Hard to realise that this painting Untitled #152 of what apprears to be a bald man is also her.

Michael Jackson and Bubbles 1988

We both liked Jeff Koons’  porcelain Michael Jackson and Bubbles, his chimpanzee,  in white and gold. Seeing Koons’ name reminded me of the hallucinations i had in the High Dependency Unit (HDU; dependant on care not on drugs) following my heart attack last August after I came off the ventilator.

Memoir extract from Chapter 28 of Woman in a White Coat

Continue reading A Great Weekend in Oslo, Norway, and a Visit to The Astrup Fearnley Museum

Ashley Bickerton – Damien Hirst does it again


Orange Shark (2008)

Ashley Bickerton’s Ornamental Hysteria is another brilliant exhibition in Damien Hurst’s gallery in Newport Street. Like the previous exhibition of his own Jeff Koons artefacts, the exhibition extends over two floors.

Born in Barbados in 1959, he has moved around the world ending up in New York in 1982.

Flower Pot (2009)

It’s hard to choose which of his work I liked best. This sculpture of colourful flowers growing out of skulls is certainly high on my list. The texture and colour of the stone container are gorgeous. The painting behind is Red Scooter (2009) a joyous vision of a family and their dog riding a red scooter on the beach.

Canoe, shark, woman (2016)

Love this sculpture of a woman balancing on a pile of coconuts and holding another hammer-head shark .

The serene painting on the wall behind is K.T._K.T (2015).

I must go again!!

The Pharmacy Café at Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery

Pills and potions
Pills and potions

Most of the first floor of Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery is given over to his Pharmacy Café.
At the far end there are white shelves bearing serried ranks of boxes and tubes of medical drugs – a version of his Pharmacy  installation which toured the galleries.  I find it far less interesting than the Pharmacy department at my local Boots the Chemist.

Barista SArt
Barista Art

My Latte was fine. it even had a little homunculus made by the barista, but my blueberry muffin was so full of sugar neither of us could eat it.

Most people seemed to have come in for a greasy fry-up for late breakfast.


Pharmacy at the Castle of Heidelberg
Pharmacy at the Castle of Heidelberg

But if you want to see a selection of fabulous old pharmacies you need to go to the Pharmacy Museum in the Castle of Heidelberg that  we visited during a Rhine River Cruise.

Incredible workmanship
Incredible workmanship


These are not just MDF shelves filled with loot from a local chemist. These are lovingly created hand-crafted shelves and drawers containing individually created medicaments – which may have been, but often were not,  efficacious.

Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery

The Souvenir Shop
The Souvenir Shop

For me, a bisected cow preserved in formaldehyde as an art object is perverse, as is rotting meat. And it is shameful to kill thousands of butterflies to make a pretty design or capture them to hatch out and die in the Tate Gallery but I very much admire Damien Hirst’s generosity in opening his Newport Street Gallery, London SE11 6AJ, with entry free of charge.

The exhibition we went to was of part of his collection of Jeff Koons’ art. Hirst permits photography – except in the Sexually Explicit Room which contains two images of Jeff Koons at it with his porn-star wife, as well as Koons’  huge Bowl with Eggs (Pink) 1994-2009.

Balloon Monkey (Blue) 2006-2013
Balloon Monkey (Blue) 2006-2013

I find it difficult to choose which of the objects to show here – I liked them all – or almost all. Koons’ work is certainly best seen in a collection like this, rather than as a couple of examples in a general exhibition of Modern Art.


Balloon Monkey (Blue), a huge stainless steel finely polished structure does it for me  If you click on the image and enlarge it you can see how tiny by comparison are the humons reflected in its immaculate surface.

New roomy Toyota Family Camry 1983
New roomy Toyota Family Camry 1983