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London Burger King Installs a Damien Hirst Painting

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[Photos: Burger King UK]

How is Burger King planning on competing with the World's Largest McDonald's during the Olympics this summer? Well, one London location of the fast food restaurant has installed a Damien Hirst piece called (deep breath) "Beautiful Naked Psychedelic Gherkin Exploding Tomato Sauce All Over Your Face, Flame Grilled Painting 2003." The piece is on loan from Hirst — he's a friend of the franchisee who owns the location — and will remain until the end of the year. Flame Grilled Painting is one of Hirst's spin paintings, which Sotheby's valued in 2008 as between £150,000 to £400,000 (US$233,000 to $622,000).

This isn't the first time a Hirst piece has ended up in a restaurant: earlier this year the British artist installed "a Hereford cow and cockerel preserved in a steel and glass tank of formaldehyde" at London restaurant Tramshed. Below, a press release suggest you get your Damien Hirst on with a side of fries. (Seriously.)

MODERN ART WITH A SIDE OF FRIES, PLEASE Damien Hirst donates ‘Flame Grilled’ artwork to celebrate opening of new BURGER KING® Leicester Square restaurant

Burger King UK Ltd today announced that internationally renowned British artist Damien Hirst, has donated an original piece of artwork entitled ‘Flame Grilled’ to BURGER KING® Leicester Square franchisee Django Fung.

The piece celebrates and is a key feature of the newly remodelled BURGER KING® Leicester Square ‘Flameship’ restaurant, located in the heart of London’s busiest tourist district. It will enable thousands of visitors to enjoy a piece of spectacular artwork for free during Britain’s biggest summer of sport.

The full name given to the piece was ‘Beautiful Psychedelic Gherkin Exploding Tomato Sauce All Over Your Face, Flame Grilled Painting 2003’ – the last part being particularly apt, given it is the brand’s unique way of cooking its burgers. Created using a special technique called ‘spin painting’, the installation measures two metres in diameter and takes pride of place in the upstairs dining area of the 200seat restaurant, protected by reinforced glass to ensure its safety at all times.

The new BURGER KING® Leicester Square Flameship restaurant has been designed to showcase the brand’s signature flame grilling, and provides customers with an innovative new eating experience.

BURGER KING®Leicester Square franchisee, Django Fung, and personal friend of Damien Hirst, commented on the artwork: “I love the novelty of Damien’s artwork being in such an unexpected place. Art should be accessible to everyone, especially in such a busy summer, and putting this painting in our new look BURGER KING®restaurant in such a high profile location does just that.”

Jo Blundell, Burger King UK Ltd Marketing Director for the UK and Ireland, comments: “Our new Flameship restaurant marks a period of continued growth and innovation for the BURGER KING® brand. All of our new look restaurants will provide a more modern experience to enjoy thegreat taste of our flame-grilled burgers. In the case of Leicester Square, we’ve given Londoners and guests to the capital a little something extra to enjoy!”

The new Flameship restaurant is one of over 500 UK and Ireland restaurants operated predominantly by franchisees on behalf of Burger King UK Ltd.

· All Damien Hirst Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Burger King Coverage on Eater [-E-]