Besides maybe his blinged out human skulls, the "Natural History" series is how most people were introduced to Damien Hirst's work. The artist recently picked up where the series left off by unveiling a piece entitled Gone but Not Forgotten, a gilded woolly mammoth skeleton in a mammoth-sized steel and glass vitrine.
Hirst donated the piece to the help in the fight against AIDS by the amfAR organization, and it was revealed during the Cannes Film Festival where it will be featured in the Cinema Against AIDS auction to raise funds for the organizations efforts.
Of the work, Hirst says: "The mammoth comes from a time and place that we cannot ever fully understand. Despite its scientific reality, it has attained an almost mythical status and I wanted to play with these ideas of legend, history and science by gilding the skeleton and placing it within a monolithic gold tank. It's such an absolute expression of mortality, but I've decorated it to the point where it's become something else, I've pitched everything I can against death to create something more hopeful, it is Gone but not Forgotten."
Click through for a timelapse video of the construction of the massive skeleton.