The ‘Thisness’ of the Diamond Skull

Isaac Mostovicz writes...

Damien Hirst’s skull, entitled ‘For the Love of God’ is supposed to evoke a sense of our own mortality – in contrast to the eternity that diamonds endure.

Does it do that? Is it beautiful? Is it macabre? Is it luxury?


Beyond its simple juxtaposition of mortality and eternity – its evocation of the transience of life – the skull can also be a reminder of the fundamental ‘thisness’ of life.

While diamonds and human beings are made of exactly the same stuff at an atomic level – carbon – we are moulded rather differently. Thinking about it though, each diamond also has its own ‘thisness’, a product of both its growth over billions of years and the process of its polishing. No two diamonds ever have exactly the same facet ratios and characteristics.

Hirst’s use of these diamonds expresses his own thisness, and also the thisness of diamonds themselves….

Food for thought?

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