Leviathan, 2006 - 2013
by Damien Hirst
Hirst acquired this 6.8 metre-long basking shark with the assistance of London’s Natural History Museum, after it was found washed up on a Cornish beach. Stating the shark looked like a ‘monster from the deep’, Hirst titled the work after the mythical sea creature depicted in the Hebrew Bible and Christian Old Testament. Leviathan is also a reference to the 17th century British theoretician Thomas Hobbes’ work of social contract theory. As much as a physical monster, Hirst’s ‘Levitathan’ can be interpreted as a reference to the darkness inside the mind of man.