This is the most likely Ife Bronze head that Damien Hirst copied.



Its the female version of this


Photo credit

So many of the Ife heads, bronze and terracotta had the same striations (lines on the face) and Yoruba features. Ours were made around the 12th century,  and were buried  away , most probably during the tumultuous 17th and 18th centuries of Yoruba civil war. They were rediscovered in the 19th century.


Damien Hirst’s copy


A Nigerian artist exhibiting at the same show as Damien Hirst let the cat out of the bag , if not, we may not have been the wiser….


The problem isn’t that Damien Hirst made his version of an Ife Bronze head, it was his forgetting to include a reference to Ife. 

When the heads were discovered by the Western world, Frobenius believed he had located wreckage from the lost city of (European) Atlantis. Hear him,

I was moved to silent melancholy at the thought that this assembly of degenerate and feeble-minded posterity should be the legitimate guardians of so much loveliness.

How insulting. When Frobenius came to Yorubaland we had been through a century of war, turmoil and slavery, perhaps he was unimpressed by those he met then, and drew his racist logic from that.

So when Damien Hirst makes exhibit of an Ife head copy called  “unknown treasures from a wreckage” or some such nonsense  it kind of echoes Frobenius. Whilst we can consider forgiving Frobenius, after all  he lived in a different time, Hirst must be dragged up about this. No excuses. 





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