The piece, called "For Heaven's Sake," features a tiny skull covered with platinum and diamonds. It will first go on display in the artists gallery in Hong Kong before heading Londonward later this year.
Critics say that the artist is exhibiting an unfortunate amount of callousness and that bereaved parents would be negatively emotionally impacted by the sight of a bedazzled baby skull, but the artist disagrees, as the remains are quite old. The skull is actually part of a 19th century collection of curiosities acquired by the artist, and the child whose skull is used in the sculpture died before he or she was two weeks old. (Side note: apparently there's this shadow market for human skulls? Even baby skulls? The surprise I feel in response to learning that indicates to me that I must be kind of sheltered.) Is there a statute of limitations on baby skull art?
"For Heaven's Sake" is meant to follow Hirst's earlier work, an adult human skull covered with platinum and diamonds that fetched a nearly $100 million price tag called "For The Love Of God." Clearly I've been doing the wrong thing with my life, as the real money's in covering weird shit with jewels. I think my now-deceased childhood pets are still buried in the backyard at my parents' house; I wonder how much I could get for covering a cat ribcage with sequins. At least $100, right?