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Wednesday, 21 November, 2001, 16:26 GMT
Hirst's Pharmacy goes online
Damien Hirst
Hirst won the 1995 Turner Prize
Artist Damien Hirst has transferred one of his most famous works to London's Tate Modern gallery as part of a virtual collaboration.

Pharmacy, which recreates the inside of a chemist's shop, can be viewed by the public at the London gallery as well by visitors to its website.

The website offers viewers a 360-degree panoramic view of the room, along with an audio interview with the artist and details about the installation.

Pharmacy has been on a displayed around the world, with exhbits in New York, Seoul and Texas.


Art is an illusion, it is not like the real world and it should be a form of escape

Damien Hirst
It has been reconstructed differently several times by Hirst, in order to fit each individual space.

The Turner Prize winner, who also co-owns a London restaurant called Pharmacy, was particularly delighted at seeing his work on the web.

He said: "It's a very different thing for an artist to be able to make it work on the internet rather than just in a gallery.

"Now it can be viewed by people who are interested in art but who would otherwise not be able to visit a gallery like this."

'Escape'

The work was first shown in New York in 1992 but the inspiration came from his childhood growing up in Leeds.

"I saw all these people going into the chemist and I thought wouldn't it be good if art could inspire such total trust.

"All these people were putting their faith in little white pills and they were believing in medicines in exactly the same way that I wanted them to believe in art."

Hirst said that now, more than ever, people need art in their lives as a form of escape.

He said: "People want to cheer themselves up. I think people need art now.

"When things are going really well people are less interested in art, and I hope now art will take people's minds off the situation.

"Art is an illusion, it is not like the real world and it should be a form of escape."

See also:

09 Jul 98 | Health
Top restaurant in medical stew
01 Dec 00 | Entertainment
Mystery woman finds hidden Hirst
03 Apr 00 | UK
Art Hirst and foremost
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