Oil on canvas

38.1 x 53.3 cm

A monkey's head is framed by two large white gloves. A syringe is inserted into its right eye. Its face expresses some kind of protestation. This close up view, in the manner of a photograph, reminds of images used by animal rights groups to denounce laboratory practices. The Vivisection painting is thus in line with Damien Hirst's works and declarations when he describes science as “a new religion”.

The title also brings into question the meaning of this work. Indeed, vivisection refers to the scientific dissection of a live animal. Is the injection performed on the monkey aimed at sedating it before such an operation? The action depicted by the artist thus becomes even more dramatic.

Vivisection was first shown in 2006 at the Where Are We Going? exhibition at Palazzo Grassi, in Venice.
Damien Hirst's other artwork