I love and hate Damien Hirst in equal portions. I love the marketing genius that the man is, but I also dislike him for similar reasons as he has made art all about business. Only a (starving) fool would ignore business altogether in art, but I still find myself clinging to a romantic art that is above money and press releases. There’s all kinds of art though, so I probably admire Hirst more than I dislike him.
The British artist is now teaming up with Levi’s Jeans to do a limited edition collection of t-shirts and jeans. The Damien Hirst X Levi’s® collection uses well known Hirst themes like spots, skulls, butterflies and his spin paintings. The prices start at £55 for tees and £150 for jeans, so now everyone can own a Damien Hirst.. kind of.
Here’s a short Damien Hirst interview about the Levi’s collection..
1. How did the original collaboration between you and Levi’s® come about?
I’ve always worn Levi’s® and I saw a collection that (designer) Adrian Nyman made using Warhol’s art and I loved it so much I bought the whole collection. Adrian heard about it and contacted me and asked if I’d like to work with him, the Warhol estate and Levi’s®, and of course I jumped at the chance.
2. Why did you decide to partner with Levi’s® to create another Damien Hirst X Levi’s® limited-edition collection?
Because I really enjoyed the experience of working with Adrian and Levi’s® and loved the clothes.
3. What was your inspiration for this collection?
I loved the idea of art you can wear.
4. What was the inspiration and meaning behind your iconic imagery of the skull, spots and butterfly?
I live in Mexico and I love the way they celebrate all the bad and good aspects of life there. In life we are here for a good time, not a long time and I hope the imagery communicates that.
5. Do you have any favourite pieces or items in the collection you are most excited about?
I love it all.
6. Have you ever provided design inspiration for a clothing collection before?
I painted heavy metal album covers on schoolmate’s denim jackets when I was at school.
7. Have you seen people out and about in pieces from your Damien Hirst X Levi’s® limited-edition collection? Do you like the idea that people can now “wear your art”?
I tried to sign someone’s t shirt I saw in a club but they wouldn’t let me because they didn’t believe I was Damien Hirst, funny huh?
8. What similarities or differences do you find between expressing yourself creatively through art versus fashion?
I don’t see a difference really, anything done well is art, but this way a lot of people get to own my stuff and in a not too precious way.