The Kiss of Death


Perspex, steel, bull's heart, dagger, silver and 5% formaldehyde solution

91.4 x 61 x 25.4 cm (36 x 24 x 10 in.)

Damien Hirst's sculpture The Kiss of Death shows a knife sticking out of a bull's heart preserved in a formaldehyde solution. He draws on multiple religious, historical and cultural references to create this symbolic "kiss of death" that fixes death forever. Fascinating yet a source of anguish, this powerful work causes a real visual shock and questions our perception of existence.

The works of Damien Hirst, leader of the Young British Artists, freeze time and highlight the beauty between life and death. Since 1991, the 1995 Turner Prize winner has been cultivating provocation. An example is his spectacular sculptures of dead animals in tanks filled with formaldehyde. The artist, who explores the links between art, science and religion, confronts us with our own decay, thus playing on our fears.

The Kiss of Death was presented by the Pinault Collection during the 2009 "Qui a peur des artistes ?" (“Who’s Afraid of Artists?”) exhibition at the Palais des Arts in Dinard.
Damien Hirst's other artwork