Damien Hirst Is Leaving His Mark on Chateau La Coste, and Other News

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Damien Hirst. Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd

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Damien Hirst Is Leaving His Mark on Château La Coste

Château La Coste has seen many notable artists pass through its storied grounds—Jennifer Guidi, Tia-Thuy Nguyen, and Pierre Paulin among them—but no artist has staged a full takeover of the Provençal destination’s 500-acre estate. That changes in March, when Damien Hirst will stage a landmark show across the property’s five pavilions designed by Oscar Niemeyer and Richard Rogers. “The Light That Shines” will span never-before-seen pieces to career highlights like the formaldehyde work The Ascension and The Empress Paintings, which use red and black butterfly wings arranged into kaleidoscopic patterns. “Amid laughs and giggles, chats and cups of tea, great ideas evolved as they do when Damien is his playful self,” says Paddy McKillen, who founded Château La Coste in 2011. “He has planned out the show to perfection.” —Ryan Waddoups

Utamo by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura. Image courtesy of Neom

Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura is designing a “theatre of the future” for Neom.

Saudi Arabia’s futuristic Neom project has unveiled plans for Utamo, its latest destination billed as a “theatre of the future.” Designed by Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura, Utamo features a 210-foot-long entryway set into a cliffside, leading to an immersive performance space boasting advanced technology and breathtaking ocean views. The venue, part of Neom’s eight revealed destinations, promises an exclusive experience where art and technology converge, with guests becoming part of the show. Utamo joins other Neom marvels like Siranna, a hexagonal-pillar hotel, and Epicon, a luxury resort with jagged skyscrapers. 

Farfetch, facing financial distress, is sold to South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang.

Farfetch, facing financial distress from a slowing luxury market and costly investments, was rescued by South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang in a $500 million deal. While this avoids immediate bankruptcy, investors’ stakes were wiped out, and the future of Farfetch’s subsidiaries, like Browns and Stadium Goods, remains uncertain. The sale marks a new chapter for the online luxury platform, with Coupang replacing Richemont as its major backer.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Met will return 16 ancient Southeast Asian sculptures to Cambodia and Thailand.

Facing scrutiny over looted antiquities, the Met agreed to return 16 ancient Southeast Asian sculptures to Cambodia and Thailand. Linked to disgraced art dealer Douglas Latchford, these pieces from the Angkorian period join other repatriated items like crowns and Buddhist sculptures, reflecting a growing trend of museums reckoning with colonial-era acquisitions. While timelines remain unclear, the Met’s research efforts are signaling a wider shift towards transparency and historical accountability.

Richard Hunt, the pioneering abstract sculptor who helped redefine public art, dies at 88. 

Pioneering abstract sculptor Richard Hunt, who transcended racial barriers and redefined public art, has died at 88. Known for his organic metal sculptures imbued with nature and history, Hunt became the first African American artist to receive a solo retrospective at the MoMA, showcasing evocative works that melded industrial grit with natural forms. Hunt also left his mark on cities with more than 160 public sculptures across the country. Beyond public spaces, Hunt championed inclusivity, serving as the first African American visual artist on the National Council on the Arts and advocating for equity. 

Chobani has acquired Philadelphia-born coffee purveyor La Colombe for $900 million.

La Colombe, known for its draft lattes and Philly roots, has been acquired by Chobani for $900 million. This marks a strategic move for the yogurt giant, expanding its reach into the lucrative coffee market while La Colombe gets a financial boost and access to Chobani’s vast distribution network. Expect La Colombe to maintain its independent brand identity as it scales across the country, perhaps challenging coffee giant Starbucks. The deal isn’t only about business; Chobani is promising its unique employee profit-sharing model to La Colombe workers.

Green honeycreeper. Photography by John Murillo

Today’s attractive distractions:

New research has revealed surprising complexity in the minds of farm animals.

Ornithologists find a “half female, half male” green honeycreeper in Colombia. picks “hallucination”—in the AI sense—as the word of the year.

Shoppers actually seem to want to use Uniqlo’s new self-checkout system.

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