Damien Hirst

With Dead Head

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About this artwork

‘With Dead Head’ shows Hirst posing for the camera with a severed head. The photograph was taken at a morgue in Leeds when Hirst was sixteen - he went along with a friend who was studying microbiology. This work reveals his unflinching ability to confront death and life’s brevity even at an early age, but his expression betrays an underlying fear. Around this time Hirst began to collect pathology books containing pictures of burns and wounds, and developed an interest in the work of Francis Bacon. Hirst maintained that, although he was fascinated by corpses - how they can be both visually horrific and beautiful at the same time - dead bodies still didn’t explain anything about death.

Updated before 2020

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  • artist:
  • title:
    With Dead Head
  • date created:
    1991
  • materials:
    Photograph, black and white, on paper on aluminium
  • measurements:
    57.20 x 76.20 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00617
  • gallery:
  • subject:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst