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Damien Hirst Invading New York
Pensive taxidermist and contemporary art bad boy Damien Hirst is popping up all over New York City right now, and you can see at least a few of his works for free. (Might give you something to do instead of a Broadway show. Trust us, you didn't want to see A Bronx Tale anyway.)
Hirst's latest installation is at the Lever House on Park Avenue and is extravagantly titled School: The Archaeology of Lost Desires, Comprehending Infinity, and the Search for Knowledge. What that means is up to you to figure out, but we can tell you the piece involves dead sheep in formaldehyde-filled vitrines, medicine cabinets, clocks and a bunch of sausages. Sound gross? That's part of the fun.
Also at the Lever House is Hirst's sculpture The Virgin Mother. It's been on view for a couple of years, terrifying and delighting passersby all the while. We doubt you'll miss it, but look for the giant, half-flayed-open pregnant woman cast in bronze.
If you're ready for more, head north from 53rd Street to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hirst's most famous work--a tiger shark sealed in a massive formaldehyde-filled tank--has just been loaned to the Met. You'll find it in the modern galleries, right across the way from a Francis Bacon painting that partly inspired The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.
Oh, and if you don't think sticking dead animals in preservatives is art, don't pay for it. Admission to the Met is a suggested $20, so you can see the shark for free if you like.