Barbara Hubert


Barbara Hubert urodzona w Rzeszowie, gdzie ukończyła Liceum Sztuk Plastycznych. Absolwentka Akademii Sztuk Pięknych w Krakowie wydział Malarstwa; pierwsze trzy lata w pracowni Profesora Stanisława Rodzińskiego, a następnie w pracowni Profesora Leszka Misiaka, gdzie uzyskała dyplom. Aktualnie mieszka, pracuje twórczo oraz jako pedagog w rodzinnym Rzeszowie. 

Od 2022 roku doktorantka Szkoły Doktorskiej Uniwersytetu Rzeszowskiego.
Autorka 40 wystaw indywidualnych, wzięła udział w ponad 85 wystawach zbiorowych w kraju i za granicą.  Inspiracją do powstawania jej prac jest szeroko rozumiana natura.

Barbara Hubert was born in Rzeszów, where she graduated from the High School of Fine Arts. Graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Faculty of Painting; the first three years in the studio of Professor Stanisław Rodziński, and then in the studio of Professor Leszek Misiak, where she obtained her diploma. He currently lives, works creatively and as a teacher in his hometown of Rzeszów. 

From 2022, a doctoral student at the Doctoral School of the University of Rzeszów.
The author of 41 individual exhibitions, she took part in over 85 collective exhibitions in Poland and abroad. The inspiration for her works is broadly understood nature. 


Wyszukane Marnotrawstwo - interpretacja sztuki Damiena Hirsta. 

mgr. Barbara Hubert 

Poniższa praca analizuje rolę marnotrawstwa i przepychu w twórczości jednego z najbardziej kontrowersyjnych artystów współczesnych, Damiena Hirsta. Przyjmując interdyscyplinarne podejście, badanie skupia się na wykorzystaniu tych motywów w pracach Hirsta, od wczesnych dzieł po jego najbardziej znane instalacje. Poprzez analizę kontekstu społeczno-kulturowego oraz technik artystycznych, praca wyjaśnia, w jaki sposób Hirst eksploruje kwestie wartości, przemijania i konsumpcji, jednocześnie wywołując dyskusję na temat natury sztuki i jej roli w dzisiejszym świecie. Odniesienia do cykliczności życia i śmierci w twórczości Hirsta pozwalają zrozumieć, w jaki sposób artysta eksploruje tematykę przemijania i natury, a także jakie pytania stawia przed widzem. Podsumowanie- podkreśla znaczenie twórczości Hirsta jako refleksji nad współczesnym społeczeństwem i zachęca do dalszych badań nad wpływem jego dzieł na percepcję sztuki i wartości w XXI wieku. 

Exquisite Squandering
- interpretation of Damien Hirst's Art. 

mgr. Barbara Hubert
The following work analyzes the role of extravagance and wastefulness in the oeuvre of one of the most controversial contemporary artists, Damien Hirst. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach, the study focuses on the utilization of these motifs in Hirst's works, from his early pieces to his most renowned installations. Through the analysis of socio-cultural context and artistic techniques, the paper elucidates how Hirst explores issues of value, transience, and consumption, while also sparking a discourse on the nature of art and its role in today's world. References to the cyclical nature of life and death in Hirst's work allow us to understand how the artist explores the themes of transience and nature, as well as the questions he poses to the viewer. The conclusion underscores the significance of Hirst's oeuvre as a reflection on contemporary society and encourages further research into the impact of his works on the perception of art and values in the twenty-first century. 

**Sophisticated Waste - Interpretation of Damien Hirst's Art** 

By Barbara Hubert 

Damien Hirst, one of the most controversial contemporary artists, is known for the grandiosity and wastefulness that characterize his art. His works often evoke extreme emotions and discussions about artistic and ethical value.  

The opulence and waste in Damien Hirst's art are recurring themes that consistently provoke reactions. His pieces, from "For the Love of God" to the Venice exhibition "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable," are manifestations of luxury and simultaneously a critique of modern consumerism. Although Hirst frequently uses materials and techniques that raise ethical concerns, his work remains an integral part of the discourse on the value and role of art in today's world. Hirst's art, full of extravagance and often wastefulness, remains one of the most provocative and influential elements of the contemporary art scene. 

Hirst's greatest fear is creating art that people will ignore. He therefore creates art that cannot be ignored; one cannot pass by Hirst's works indifferently. They may evoke admiration, but also outrage or disgust; they are strange, different, beautiful, and ugly—you be the judge. 

To start with, let's consider what is often regarded as the most expensive artwork in history in terms of production costs: the creation of this piece cost $17.5 million. In June 2007, Hirst's work "For the Love of God" was exhibited at the White Cube gallery in London. It features a human skull made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds. Hirst was inspired by an Aztec skull inlaid with turquoise that he saw in the British Museum. To create "For the Love of God," Hirst bought an authentic 18th-century human skull, made a cast of it, drilled holes in the cast, and embedded 8,601 diamonds. All the diamonds weigh 1,106 carats, with the largest (a pink pear-shaped diamond) weighing 52 carats. 

The sculpture's name comes from a remark made by Hirst's mother upon seeing one of his previous works: "For the love of God, what will you do next?" The skull was sold for $100 million, although the sale's details are somewhat murky. Hirst claimed that for security reasons, he couldn't keep it at home without special protection—people might kill for that skull. He stated that he had created a monster. He also said that he made the work in the context of humanity's obsession with wealth and death. 

This piece is one of the most vivid examples of luxury and opulence in Hirst's art. Many critics view it as a demonstration of extreme extravagance and consumerism in the art world. 


Hirst's use of opulence and waste as artistic expression may also be due to his background; he rose from poverty to become one of the five richest living visual artists in the world. He spent his childhood in Leeds, raised by his mother after his father, a car mechanic, left the family when Hirst was 12. As a teenager, he was twice arrested for shoplifting. He attended Leeds College of Art and Design and then worked on construction sites in London for two years. 

In 1986, he began studying Fine Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London. During his studies, he worked in a mortuary for a time, which significantly influenced his later work. This is evidenced by his early photograph "Dead Head," which clearly reveals the greatest mystery of the universe: the difference between living organisms and dead matter. Smiling maniacally, Hirst is undoubtedly alive, while the head next to him, once a living person, is now dead. What is life? Why does it end? Even then, Hirst was a bold artist. The photograph stirred and continues to stir controversy, with Professor Sarah Tarlow, an expert in "archaeological ethics," writing to the New Art Gallery Walsall, asserting that "With Dead Head" should not be publicly displayed. Tarlow argued that it "deserves a place in Hirst's archive but not in a gallery." 

In 1991, when Hirst decided that this photo was a work of art, he forced people to confront death. That same year, he immersed a shark in formaldehyde and titled it "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living." At this moment, at his best, Hirst was a serious artist trying to see and make us see the absolute reality of life and death: the impossible gulf between them, the way we try to ignore death because it mocks life so much. 

"The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" is an installation featuring a tiger shark over 4 meters long. The shark was caught specifically for Hirst, sparking controversy over the waste of natural resources and the ethical treatment of animals. This work also exemplifies Hirst's use of perishable materials that degrade over time, raising questions about the durability and value of contemporary art. The piece was sold in 2004 for $8 million. 

This work initiated the "Natural History" cycle, becoming a milestone in contemporary art and an example of Hirst's interest in bridging the gap between art and science. The "Natural History" series includes other taxidermy animals, such as sheep, cows, a zebra, a dove, and even a "unicorn"—some are cut in half or skinned. 

Hirst's installations compel reflection on one's identity and humans' relationship with death. They sometimes reference the vanitas tradition, as in the piece "A Thousand Years," where a glass case containing a decapitated cow's head swarmed by flies serves as a metaphor for the fragility of life and the inevitability of death. It also points to the natural yet drastic cycle we all undergo: birth-death-decay. "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" is like a shark suspended in a vacuum, within reach of the viewer. Slippery, shiny, and still, it is a trophy of former strength and life, immersed in formalin. Another memento mori is "Love Lost," a large aquarium containing a table with a computer and a chair—not an ordinary workstation, but a gynecological chair. On the table lies an empty coffee cup and a watch, measuring the slow passage of time and the transience of life. 

Using animals for his art is controversial. For some, it is unethical; for others, it is unaesthetic. Hirst is accused of seeking fame and making large amounts of money through "cheap shock tactics," using animals as objects and wasting resources. It is also an example of waste, where animals are used to create art regardless of their biological value. 

However, some see in his works a deeper layer—fundamental dilemmas of human existence. Questions about life's fragility, our reluctance to confront death, and the nature of love and desire. 

Hirst operates within the realm of contrasts. The juxtaposition of different representations in his art is a crucial element, allowing him to express complex ideas and emotions by confronting different parts. Using contrast can lead to a deeper understanding of his works' themes and highlight the significant message of the ephemerality of human existence. As a keen observer, Hirst sees the connection between human existence and possession, excess, corporality, and transience. 

The juxtaposition of contrasting colors, as seen in the "Visual Candy" series—vivid, colorful paintings with euphoric, perhaps playful titles such as "Happy Happy Happy" (1994), "Wowee Zowee" (1993), and "Super Silly Fun" (1993)—draws from Impressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. 

Combining precious stones and metals with contemporary materials, as in the interior design projects for Pharmacy Restaurant and Bar in London, which he designed, with dramatically expressive works like "A Thousand Years," is another means by which Hirst communicates social differences between wealth and poverty, hope and despair, and life and death. This use of contrast dramatically underscores the differences between aspects of human experience. 

The contrast in the form and style of his artistic expression can be seen as either brilliant or insolent. However, it never leaves the viewer indifferent. The symbolism used by Hirst to express the complex relationships between nature and life is often brutal and offensive. He does not shy away from taboo subjects, dissecting animal tissues with surgical precision and initiating cycles of life and death. 

In this context, butterflies occupy a special place in Hirst's work. Describing them as "universal triggers," he uses them in his works as symbols of love, beauty, and life's fragility. Hirst describes himself as having a "Victorian obsession with nature," fitting given that butterflies have been sought after and collected for centuries as a hobby. Over the years, Hirst has released many collections featuring butterflies, all addressing universal themes such as religion, relationships, and human history. 

In the "Aspects" series, Hirst arranges butterfly images in intricate kaleidoscopic patterns. The perfect symmetry of the wings is reminiscent of both Gothic stained glass windows and mandala patterns. 

During the "In and Out of Love" exhibition, real butterfly chrysalises glued to white canvases hatched, releasing live butterflies into the space. Hirst explains: "I love butterflies because when they are dead, they look alive. The foil block makes them look like real butterflies in terms of reflecting light." This shows that butterflies are valued more for their aesthetic liveliness than for their actual essence. He continues: "After 'The Dead Head,' I had to do butterflies because you can't have one without the other." For Hirst, butterflies embody the dynamic between death and the immortality of beauty. 

This work also balances on the boundary between art and provocation, raising questions about the limits of aesthetics, ethics, and economics in the contemporary art world. All the butterflies used in the project were once alive; they are not artificial exhibits. Hirst buys them from collectors to create his art. The piece, admired for its technical mastery, is simultaneously criticized for wastefulness and insensitivity. 

For Hirst, between 120 and 150 people work continuously, often recognized artists. However, in Hirst’s factory, the artist is an anonymous worker – an artist-producer functionally equated with a machine. They repeat patterns, details, and ornaments. They work in the background of the emerging artwork, like anonymous ancient Egyptian craftsmen. Hirst pays, demands, and expects results. He utilizes all methods to create and replicate his works. He uses modern technologies, which again brings conflict between nature and civilization. He is a contemporary artist-businessman, an initiator, and an archaeologist simultaneously. Using modern technologies is proof of his innovative approach to art, while employing artists for subcontracted work is a form of applied archaeology, where the contemporary artist takes on the role of a craftsman for Hirst's idea. 

The exhibition "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" was prepared by dozens of Hirst's artist-workers for many years before it was shown in 2017 at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice. Monumental, fantastic sculptures made of precious metals and stones, covered with illusionistic clusters of shells. The exhibition, which comprised literally hundreds of works, from a 60-foot headless statue to museum cases filled with ancient gold coins, jewelry, and weapons, occupied 54,000 square feet in two different museums.  

On the gallery wall was the text: "Somewhere between lies and truth lies the truth." By juxtaposing the unreal with the real, Hirst creates a contrast that highlights significant social, emotional, and philosophical issues. This confrontation can be used to show human dreams and desires, as well as to analyze human experience. With bravura, he creates imaginary underwater artifacts – works straight out of myths and legends. He creates confusion in the world of art and archaeology, suggesting the discovery of ancient artworks. The idea is complemented by a pseudo-documentary film, illustrating the moment of the shipwreck discovery with submerged works of art. The exhibition presenting "submerged artifacts" is both fascinating and scandalous. Hirst does not allow the viewer a moment of boredom. Scandal is another means of artistic expression that he uses unscrupulously. The effect of juxtaposing the unreal with the real in Hirst's art can lead to deeper reflections on the nature of human existence, our place in the universe, and the limits of our perception. This confrontation invites us to ponder what is possible, what is true, and what is merely an illusion. 

Interaction with the audience is another element of Hirst's art, as he consciously invites the observer into his world. The artist's interaction with observers on social media leads to cultural dialogue and the exchange of thoughts about his work. This happened during the work on the series "Where the Land Meets the Sea." While working on one of the series, internet users claimed that the accidentally splattered floor during the creation of a painting was much more interesting than the painting itself. This inspired Hirst to create paintings painted on the floor. Ultimately, 168 paintings emerged, starting from accidental paint splatters. Although initially a byproduct, Hirst quickly saw the potential and worked on the "Coast Paintings," giving them the desired final shape. 

Interaction with internet users allows the artist to better understand the diversity of perspectives and values of contemporary society. The audience of his art becomes part of the creative process, art critics, and even co-authors of projects. They provide important feedback and constructive criticism, which Hirst uses in choosing the themes of his works and perfecting his craft. Interaction on social media gives Hirst a chance to better understand the public's interests and adjust his work to contemporary audience needs. 

Since appearing on the international art scene in the late 1980s, Damien Hirst has created installations, sculptures, paintings, and drawings that explore the complex relationships between art and beauty, religion and science, and life and death. From serial paintings depicting multicolored spots to specimens of animals preserved in formaldehyde tanks, his works challenge contemporary belief systems, tracing the uncertainties underlying human experience.  

Hirst in his work uses scientific tools, medical, and biological solutions. He prepares, preserves, and maintains in formaldehyde. He disrupts the natural rhythm of life and death. Intuitively, he tackles the subject of transience. Despite the controversies, Hirst continually pushes boundaries and redefines the concept of contemporary art. His works, although often criticized for wastefulness, also introduce new forms and techniques that enrich the art world. Using expensive materials like diamonds and platinum and unconventional methods like preserving animals in formaldehyde proves that Hirst is not only a provocateur but also an innovator. His work forces reflection on the role and value of art in the contemporary world, where the boundaries between art and life, ethics and aesthetics, are increasingly blurred. 

Hirst himself claims that through his sculptures, installations, paintings, and films, he explores the beauty and poetry of death. He creates with the humility of a man unsure of his existence. "I present a higher, deeply hidden truth, understood through the mortal boundary of fear, religion, fatalism, and humor."  

While for many, these words may sound quite exotic, they are an attempt to interpret this controversial work by the artist himself.

Barbara Hubert-Wyszukane marnotrawstwo