Damien Hirst Prescribes a Dose of Fine Art at Pharmacy 2 Restaurant
There’s nothing particularly subtle about the theme of British artist Damien Hirst and chef Mark Hix’s Pharmacy 2 restaurant. Cabinets full of pharmaceutical packaging line the walls that aren’t covered with metallic wallpaper featuring pill motifs, which recur on embroidered leather banquettes and in the form of marble shapes embedded in the floor.
The restaurant, which opened on February 23 at Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery in the Vauxhall area of London, is a fresh take on the Notting Hill venue operated by the artist from 1998 until 2003, and is similarly inspired by his 1992 artwork, Pharmacy. “Pharmacy 2 combines two of my greatest passions; art and food,” said Hirst, who oversaw the design and incorporated site-specific work from some of his iconic series, including the Medicine Cabinets and butterfly Kaleidoscope paintings.
The clinical feel of the predominantly white interior is offset by colorful interventions, such as the illuminated image of medicines lining the bar and etched glass windows depicting DNA strands. The marble resin floor is inlaid with 21 large pills made from 35 types of brightly colored marble. Each pill was carved using waterjet technology by Italian marble specialist Margraf and finished by hand.
Hirst claims that Pharmacy 2 “reflects his interest in science through medicine and pharmaceuticals,” which is clearly expressed in its idiosyncratic design. Alongside a menu of “classic British and European food”, the restaurant serves up a visual treat for patrons interested in fine art as well as fine dining.