Damien Hirst says he considered pickling human corpses after famous shark artwork

Artist has two new exhibitions taking place this year

Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 18 February 2021 09:40
Comments
Hirst with his  artwork, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living
Hirst with his artwork, titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

Damien Hirst has revealed he once considered placing human corpses in formaldehyde after his famous artworks using a shark and a sheep.

In an interview with The Guardian, the English artist was asked why he had never progressed from animals to “pickling people”.

“I flirted with the idea,” he responded, explaining that he had considered getting a male and female corpse, cutting them in half and fitting their sexual organs together.

Hirst was apparently influenced by Leonardo da Vinci’s drawing of the anatomy of human copulation.

However, he said that he preferred working with a “neglected thing like a sheep, which is meat – you’re thinking why am I feeling empathy?”

“That’s a great thing because you should. Because it’s not just meat,” he continued.

During the pandemic, Hirst created a rainbow from butterfly wings to express solidarity and support, as part of The Independent’s Help the Hungry campaign.

Hirst’s Mental Escapology exhibition of over 40 works is currently being held across five locations in St Moritz.

His Cherry Blossoms exhibition of paintings is being held at the Fondation Cartier in Paris on 1 June.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in