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Dove’s Wings and Bull’s Heart

'The Immaculate Heart - Sacred' - Damien Hirst

The heart has been used as a sacred symbol for centuries, and Damien Hirst's 'The Immaculate Heart - Sacred' nods to history and tradition whilst presenting an austere façade.

Devoid of the natural red colors usually used to depict the Sacred Heart, this rendition brings home the pain and suffering in the Passion of Christ, while the wings show the redemptive power of this suffering. The bull's heart is surrounded by barbed wire, which is just as provocatively violent as the crown of thorns wrapped around in traditional depictions of the Sacred Heart. The dagger piercing through the heart from top to bottom reminds us of Christ's bodily wounds as He is nailed to the cross.

IMG 1835 copy

The work brings into question the notion of objects symbolizing concepts like death, redemption, and suffering and their changing meaning.

Symbolism, like language usage, is in constant Aux, and the significance of certain words, ideas, or objects can be subject to changes in cultural understanding over time. In the case of the Sacred Heart, however, many seemingly unrelated objects act together to form a coherent idea that has had longevity over the centuries.

Explore Damien Hirst in Moco Barcelona
The Immaculate Heart Sacred by Damien Hirst at Moco Museum Barcelona

Damien Hirst

The Immaculate Heart - Sacred

Screenshot 2023 01 04 at 16 08 47

Damien Hirst

The Immaculate Heart - Sacred

Moco Museum


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