Collection connection:


Damien Hirst’s ‘Painting by Numbers’

There’s the coffee machine, the greenery, the stylish glassware, the warm, eye-friendly light, the genial atmosphere. There are many things that make Fosbury & Sons a pleasant and inspiring place to work, but one perhaps more unusual aspect are the contemporary works of art that line the walls and hallways.

It’s common knowledge that great design improves our lives, and the same goes for arresting art objects.

When one enters the first floor member area at Fosbury & Sons’ Harmony location in Antwerp, the first open space to the left, lined by a glass wall, a few things catch the eye. Again, there are supersized plants here, and a super-soft circular sofa in the shape of an octopus, named the Aster Papposus Sofa, from the Italian furniture company EDRA.

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But on the wall, there’s an almost unassuming work by one of the original Young British Artists, Damien Hirst. Now infamous for the skyrocketing prices his work gets auctioned for, Hirst has humble beginnings. Born Damien Steven Brennan in Bristol, the young Hirst grew up in Leeds, and racked up a few arrests for shoplifting and a not-so-amazing educational record – but his drawing talent caught his art teacher’s attention.

Hirst went on to study Fine Arts at Goldsmiths College, and organized a student exhibition that Charles Saatchi attended – the rest is history.

These particular works from a private collection, ‘Painting by numbers’, were made in 2001. The two sets comprise stretched canvases mounted with enamel paints and brushes, with above these the original cardboard packaging, covered in red and blue crayon verso and black and white ink.

A riff on Hirst’s theme of the artist as producer of goods, as well as a ready-made artwork of sorts, perhaps these pieces won’t hang here at Fosbury & Sons much longer - they are open for acquisition via Fosbury & Sons. Only just last week, Hirst has announced he is downsizing his studio to “cut the corporate elements of the business.” The timing is right. Will they grace your house’s wall soon? Get in touch …