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With Dead Head

With Dead Head
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Photographic print, 1991
Signed Print Edition of 15
H 57cm x W 76cm

Critical Review

The print is emblematic of the artist’s fascination with questions of life and death which he frequently explores in his artworks. Hirst has long been interested in death, as demonstrated in this photo, which was taken when the artist was sixteen. Hirst would often visit the anatomy department of Leeds Medical School to produce life drawings of the bodies he found there. When discussing why he was so fascinated with the theme of death, Hirst explains “You can frighten people with death or an idea of their own mortality, or it can actually give them vigour.” With Dead Head captures how Hirst wants the viewer to accept and rejoice in the inevitability of death instead of fearing it.

The photograph was selected and enlarged by Hirst in 1991, to mark the year of his first two solo exhibitions in London which received critical acclaim. The image represents how questions of life and death would become central to the artist’s oeuvre.