Morrissey: ‘Damien Hirst’s head should be kept in a bag’

Interview with Linder Sterling sees singer rant about artist's formaldehyde art

Morrissey has said he thinks artist Damien Hirst should have his head “kept in a bag” for the way he uses dead animals in his work.

The singer, who is a staunch vegetarian, made the comment in an interview – where he was asking the questions – with artist Linder Sterling for Interview Magazine.

Speaking of Hirst, whose art has included a dead cow and calf cut into pieces and put in a glass container, a rotting bull and a dead tiger shark set in formaldehyde, Morrissey stated his dismay and asked Sterling for her opinion on the matter.


“I dislike the ‘use’ of animals in art, such as in the work of Damien Hirst,” he said. “But in your latest performance piece, ‘Your Actions Are My Dreams’, you have a woman serenely sitting atop a calmly satisfied horse, which is, of course, alive and healthy. Do you agree that Hirst‘s head should be kept in a bag for the way he’s utilised – and sold – dead animals?”

Sterling‘s reply appeared to agree with Morrissey‘s sentiment.

“Dead butterflies, cows, horses, humans, sheep and sharks – it reads like the inventory of a funerary Noah. How many halved calves suspended in formaldehyde does the world need? To my way of thinking, none.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Morrissey said, “The media obsession with Hirst‘s millions, I think, reduces him to mere factory outlet.”

He also asked Sterling, “Are tits a pain in the neck?” to which she replied, “I’ll probably be 70 before my full cleavage is revealed to the world.”

Morrissey and Sterling first became friends in Manchester in 1976. He went on to write The Smiths‘Cemetery Gates’ lyrics about their friendship.