An Analysis on Damien Hirst’s Sculpture: This Little Piggy Went to Market, This Little Piggy Went Home

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The focus of this essay will be on an analysis on Damien Hirst’s sculpture, from the ‘Freeze’ exhibition, entitled ‘This little piggy went to market, this little piggy went home’. This analysis will make use of Barnard’s definition of denotative meaning and how the formal elements contribute to the connotative function of the work.

Barnard (intext) defines denotation as the literal nature and explanation of what the image contains. In this case, Damien Hirst’s sculpture (figure 1) constitutes of two sides of a pig, severed in half and positioned in a translucent glass tank of formaldehyde. With closer inspection it becomes evident that the sculpture piece is further detailed with a painted stainless steel white frame and a motorized
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Furthermore, the use of geometric lining gives off the impression of an educational, scientific enviroment. This statement is further supported by the biological cross section and display of the pig.

The use of colour also adds to the shocking function of the sculptural piece. The colour is organic and subtle. However, it is constantly changing due to the different play of light shining throuogh the translucent tank of formaldehyde. This light source functions as an enhancement of the preserved animal, as it highlights the form of the pig in the eyes of the viewer, whilst showing a sense of depth. Additionally, this constant change of colour and refraction of lighting enshrines the form in an aura of light. This formal element emphasizes the fact that this sculpture as been glorified into a decorative piece, or a meuseum instalation.

Composition and movement is the greatest contributor to this sculpture’s function as a shocking catalyst of public controversy. The composition is very simple as it consists of the sculpture elevated on a pedestal. It is important to note that the sculpture hasn’t been elevated to a monumental height, but rather to the life size dimensions of the actual animal, thus creating a sense of realism. Moreover, the sculptures positioning

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