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Thursday, 18 April, 2002, 17:06 GMT 18:06 UK
Hirst to paint Formula One car
Hirst is one of the UK's most controversial artists
Hirst is one of the UK's most controversial artists
Controversial artist Damien Hirst is taking on the world of Formula One, after he was commissioned to paint the body of a Jaguar car.

The motor racing team has given the artist a totally paint-free Grand Prix vehicle to cover with his own design for an exhibition.

The artwork has not yet been finalised, but Jaguar hopes the car will be finished by early summer.

The car will never go on the track but will be featured in an exhibition

Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu

Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu said it was a unique deal.

He said: "This is a first for a Formula One car, Jaguar and Damien Hirst. The three parts have come together and he agreed to do the project quite recently.

"All the paint has been taken off a Formula One car and he has been given it as a blank sheet."

'Early stages'

However, fans of Jaguar drivers Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa will be disappointed to learn that the designs will not feature on their race-day cars.

Mr Sidhu said: "The car will never go on the track but will be featured in an exhibition."

A spokesman for Hirst said: "The designs aren't finished yet. It's still in the very early stages."

Hirst will follow in the footsteps of artist Andy Warhol, who hand-painted a BMW in the early 1980s.

Eddie Irvine drives for Jaguar
Eddie Irvine drives for Jaguar
The Art Car was part of an exhibition entitled Andy Warhol: His Art and Life (1928-1987), which toured eastern Europe last year.

Hirst is one of the best-known members of the generation of conceptual artists called Young British Artists.

He has produced some of the movement's iconic works - such as The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, consisting of a whole shark in a display case.

The artist recently announced the creation of a giant new artwork to publicise the issue of green house gases in the atmosphere.

He will represent the amount of carbon dioxide he generates in a year - about 15 tonnes - by arranging 441 empty gas canisters in a block.

Hirst has also shown to be talented in other fields - as well as owning a stake in Pharmacy restaurant in Notting Hill, he recorded the World Cup pop single Vindaloo, which reached number two in the UK charts in 1998.

See also:

15 Apr 02 | Arts
Hirst inspired by hot air
12 Apr 02 | Formula One
Irvine admits Jaguar are lost
21 Nov 01 | New Media
Hirst's Pharmacy goes online
27 Mar 02 | Formula One
Jaguar pin hopes on new man
03 Apr 00 | UK
Art Hirst and foremost
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