Turn Away From Me


Oil on canvas

229 x 154 x 4 cm (90 3/16 x 60 5/8 x 1 9/16 in.)

A phosphorescent life-size character sits cross-legged on an oil-coloured background. The left hand calls out, pushes or swears. The blue and green bust has a red hole in it - a bloody wound that empties out onto his leg and the ground. This painting immortalises the enigmatic suffering of an individual in the process of disappearing.

Drama is at the heart of the painting, whose violence and composition recall works by Francis Bacon. But the subject is deeply intimate. It is about the tragic death of Angus Fairhurst, a Rimbaudian artist found hanging from a tree on 29 March 2008. Turn Away From Me, which looks like a memento mori, marked Hirst's return to painting.

A work of many tributes, Turn Away From Me was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the "Agony and Ecstasy" exhibition at Songeun Artspace in Seoul (2011).
Damien Hirst's other artwork