Contemplating a Self Portrait as a Pharmacist, 1998



Contemplating a Self Portrait as a Pharmacist
2438 x 2743 x 3048 mm | 96 x 108 x 120 in
Glass, steel, wood, oil on canvas, lab coat, various artist's materials, tables, mirror, shoes, ashtray, lighter, cigarettes, ceramic jug, bowls, mug and toilet roll
Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012


Group Exhibition - 2015
Turner Contemporary, Kent, United Kingdom
Solo Exhibition - 2003
The Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom
Group Exhibition - 2000
Saatchi Gallery, London, United Kingdom


This vitrine consists of a double stainless steel and glass box: the inner compartment contains a full sized mirror on which ‘I love you’ is written in lipstick, an easel and the beginnings of an oil on canvas painting, on which hangs a lab coat; the outer chamber is littered with materials commonly found in a painter’s studio.

Having recently stated: “Everything I’ve ever done has been about painting, I think. About the road to painting in some way,” the vitrine is testament to the medium’s importance to Hirst throughout the entirety of his career.[1] In order to make the piece, Hirst physically entered the vitrine to work on the canvas, putting on the lab coat before looking in the mirror.

[1] Damien Hirst cited in Interview with Gordon Burn, Claridges’s, 30.06.09, ‘Nothing Matters’, (White Cube/Other Criteria, 2009), 12