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    Sale 7619

    Post-War & Contemporary Art Day Sale

    21 October 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 352

    Damien Hirst (b. 1965)

    With Dead Head

    Price Realised  


    Damien Hirst (b. 1965)
    With Dead Head
    gelatin silver print mounted on aluminium
    22 3/8 x 30in. (57 x 76.2cm.)
    Executed in 1981-1991, this work is number thirteen from an edition of fifteen

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    Damien Hirst's photograph With Dead Head is one of the most iconic images of the artist ever taken. Hirst, currently on the path to becoming one of the rare mega artists who are a living legend during a considerable amount of time in their lives, is known to have a rather non conformist relationship with death. "I think I've got an obsession with death, but I think it's like a celebration of life, rather than something morbid. You can't have one without the other" (D. Hirst in interview with G. Burn, reproduced in "On the Way to Work", in The Guardian, 6 October 2001, interview date 1992).
    Hirst about the photograph: "It's me and a dead head. Severed head. In the morgue. Human. I'm sixteen. If you look at my face , I'm actually going 'Quick. Quick. Take the photo.' I wanted to show my friends, but I couldn't take all my friends there, to the morgue in Leeds. I'm absolutely terrified. I'm grinning, but I'm expecting the eyes to open and for it to go 'Grrrraaaaagh!' I was doing anatomy drawing. I took some photos when I shouldn't have done. To me, the smile and everything seemed to sum up this problem between life and death." (ibid.)

    Special Notice

    Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Jay Jopling Fine Art, London.
    Anon. sale, Phillips de Pury New York, 14 November 2000, lot 142.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.


    R. Violette and D. Hirst, I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now, London 1997, (another from the edition illustrated, pp. 98-99).
    E. Janus (ed.), Veronica's Revenge: Contemporary Perspectives on Photography, Zurich 1998 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 143).
    A. C. Danto, "Death in the Gallery,", The Nation, November 20, 2000 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 38).
    D. Hirst and G. Burn, On the Way to Work, London 2001 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 34).


    London, Institute of Contemporary Art, Damien Hirst, December 1991-February 1992, (illustrated; another from the edition exhibited, unpaged).
    Seoul, Kukje Gallery, Border Crawl, February-March 1995 (illustrated; another from the edition exhibited).
    Zurich, Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Portraits, December 1998-April 2000.
    Kunsthaus Zurich and Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hypermental: Rampant Reality 1950-2000, November 2000-May 2001, (illustrated; another from the edition exhibited, p.85).
    Sion, Pénitencier de Valére, Pénitencier de Valére, April-May 2003.