Post-War & Contemporary Art, London, February 2014

Damien Hirst’s Mickey, 2012
Sold to Benefit the Charity Kids Company

'Mickey Mouse represents happiness and the joy of being a kid and I have reduced his shape down to the basic elements of a few simple spots. I hope people love it, because it is still instantly recognisable - Mickey Mouse is such a universal and powerful icon' (D. Hirst, quoted in interview, December 2013).

With his iconic status, universal appeal and ability to emotionally connect with generations all over the world, Mickey Mouse has inspired many world-renowned artists, including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Claes Oldenburg. Damien Hirst is the latest to follow in these famous footsteps with his very own interpretation of Disney’s best-loved character. In 2009, Hirst was invited by Disney to create a unique piece of art that combines the fun and energy of Mickey Mouse with the artist’s own unique style. A playful reinterpretation of Hirst’s own signature spot paintings, with its elemental composition and bold colours, Mickey stands as the culmination of the artist’s seminal series which he has pursued since 1986.

Mickey will be auctioned in aid of Kids Company, a charity which Hirst has long supported. Based in London and Bristol and established in 1996, it provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable inner-city children and young people.

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Damien Hirst and Camila Batmanghelidjh on Micky Mouse

Artist Damien Hirst and Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh speak to the Observer's Elizabeth Day about Disney characters, spin painting workshops, and the relationship between children and art. (Credit: The Observer)