The Sadness



4.1 × 17.8 × 15 cm (1 5/8 × 7 × 5 7/8 in.)

A small, skinny, golden monkey lying on its side in the fetal position seems to be caught between life, expressed by delicately closing hands, and death. Its body’s dry appearance evokes the process of mummifying a dead animal, which would have been carefully preserved in a gold gangue.

Entitled The Sadness, this sculpture reflects Damien Hirst's recurring concern with death and the challenge of preserving flesh, to which he often gives literal form by immersing real animals in formaldehyde. The precious materials tend to bring a historical dimension to the work, referring to the monkey mummies of ancient Egypt.

Hirst’s The Sadness was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2017 show "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at the Punta della Dogana.
Damien Hirst's other artwork