Damien Hirst’s new collaboration with Replica Louis Vuitton handbag, limited to just 20, is a handbag containing real insects trapped inside a plexiglass shell- the Campanotus giganteum, the Nephile pilipes, the Prosopocoilus occipitalis, the Eupholus cuvieri, and the Pachyrhyncus orbifer. The exterior of the bag is embroidered with representations of the interior species. It’s a recognizably Prada shape, boxy and slightly old lady-ish. Some of the bags have been sold sold at a silent auction to benefit the non-profit organization Reach Out to Asia. The remaining bags are being sold at a shop containing in the desert north of Doha, Qatar, “Prada Oasis,” along with a Pharmacy Juice Bar. The collaboration also marks the exhibition “Relics”, a major retrospective, spanning over 27 years of Hirst’s career, held in the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), more precisely at the Alriwaq Doha exhibition space. This isn’t only the artist’s first solo show in the Middle East, but also his largest exhibition so far. On view until January 2014 it includes his iconic diamond skulls, ‘For the Love of God’, and ‘For Heaven’s Sake’, next to his reputed ‘Natural History’ series of animals preserved in formaldehyde, and his ‘Medicine Cabinets’. For the occasion, the artist wrapped the entire Alriwaq exhibition space in his signature multi-color dots. Nice. Nothing more incongruous than a shark in formaldehyde in the middle of the desert.
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