In a bid to introduce art to kids, infamous animal-flaying, butterfly-collaging artist Damien Hirst is back to redeem himself— with an ABC alphabet book that uses 26 pieces of his own artwork to illustrate each letter, from A is for Anatomy to Z is for Zebra.
Simply titled "ABC," the book is filled with dissected cows and sheep, butterflies, the incredible diamond skull, and many other well-known Hirst themes. The book spans his entire career, and illustrates how his body of work addresses the scientific, philosophical, and religious issues that lie at the heart of human existence.
In an interview about the book with The Guardian, Hirst claims that his interest in art as a child came from the violent imagery of Catholicism—"seeing the brutality of all those images of flayed apostles and tortured saints was a pretty strong introduction." While much of his work is about fear of death and mortality, he claims that children are not so afraid of his creations. "My intention with The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living(1991)," he says, "was to replicate the sort of fear you might feel on being confronted with a shark. It's the fear of death, but I've always noticed kids love it rather than being frightened of it."
"ABC’ is for art lovers of all ages, and is also produced with soybean ink to make it child-friendly. Find it on Amazon here.