I very much enjoy art in all its forms. Contemporary art, especially. My girlfriend is a visual artist and teacher in the field, and through her, I am exposed to some of the latest and most intriguing of all art movements as they appear. So very often, I have to smile because, you know what? We're still building on the art of the ancient Hellenes to this day. Example: the beautifully kitsch art of Damien Hirsh in his latest exposition: "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" in Venice.

Damien Steven Hirst (born 7 June 1965) is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.

‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable’ is Hirst' most ambitious and complex project to date. It has been almost ten years in the making. Exceptional in scale and scope, the exhibition tells the story of the ancient wreck of a vast ship, the ‘Unbelievable’ ('Apistos' in the original Koine Greek), and presents what was discovered of its precious cargo: the impressive collection of Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II – which was destined for a temple dedicated to the sun.

Hirst borrows heavily from ancient Hellenic, Egyptian and even Aztec art motives to make his artpieces. Creating the vast collection cost him anywhere beteen 20 and 100 million dollars, not only because of the size of some of the items but also the material: if it looks like gold, it is gold; if it looks like jade, it is jade, if it looks like bronze, it is bronze. Hirst even went so far as to sink his art (or a replica) down to the bottom of the sea only to film it and hoist it back up again. These images and bits of 'documentary footage' are displayed with the art to sell the elaborate fantasy.

You can think of Hirst's new work what you want (personally I'd absolutely love to see it with my own eyes and think it's magnificent!) but one thing is clear: ancient art continues to inspire and it continues to sell. I will bet you everything I own tht Hirst will quadruple his investment, at least!

Copyright: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017