Matthew, Mark, Luke and John


Glass, painted steel, silicone, kitchen knives, barbecue skewers, resin books, leather and brass wallet, glass ink weil, Mont Blanc fountain pen, wooden paint pallet, wooden paintbrushes, cows' heads, bulls' heads and formaldehyde solution.

Aquarium: 45.7 x 91.4 x 45.7 cm (18 x 36 x 18 in.) (each) Overall dimensions: 45.7 x 228.6 x 228.6 cm (18 x 90 x 90 in.)

Four glass boxes arranged in the shape of a Greek cross each contain an ox's head preserved in formalin, skinned and pierced with multiple knives. The installation Matthew, Mark, Luke and John takes its title from Christian history, but rather than evoking each evangelist by his animal attribute, the artist only kept the ox, associated with Luke.

Using cattle several times in his morbid installations, here Hirst shows the head, the seat of thought. The element of shock is important here. Although it is not used only as a justification in the artist's work, it returns as a constant motif, capable of holding the viewer's attention between fascination and disgust.

Hirst's Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, an artistic tetramorph stigmatising the sacred, offers a melancholic meditation on the sacred and, therefore, on art. It is in the Pinault Collection. It was presented for the first time during the 2011 show "Agony and Ecstasy" at Songeun Artspace in Seoul.
Damien Hirst's other artwork