Never a man likely to come back from a period of gallery inactivity without making a bang, Damien Hirst’s new show Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is an explosive piece of artistic theatre that cost the artist “tens of millions of pounds” according to the man himself. Given a fake narrative, the show asks viewers to embrace the theatre and accept that the works were rescued from the East African sea by a former slave, Cif Amotan II, whose collection now comes to be exhibited. Featuring sword-wielding Gods, gigantic iron serpents and an Egyptian goddess with the face of Kate Moss, Hirst has gone big on quantity.

A grand statement spanning 54,000 square feet of gallery space, Hirst’s lavish collection of jewel-encrusted sculptures make for an extravagant and entertaining sight.

The solo exhibition takes place at Venice’s Punta della Dogana and Palazzo Grassi from 9 April to 3 December 2017.

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk ©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Christoph Gerigk ©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017

Damien Hirst Art

Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2017