Taking inspiration from Max Ernst’s collage ‘The Hat Makes the Man’ (1920) Hirst originally constructed the elements of this sculpture from fragments of wooden doors and felt hats. He then had the entire thing cast in bronze at Pangolin Foundry. In a similar manner to ‘Hymn’ (1999 - 2005) and ‘Charity’ (2002 - 03), the work retains the appearance of the original materials; the painting process is hidden.
Ernst’s collage consisted of clippings of men’s hats taken from sales catalogues glued onto sketches of coloured towers. The work was a visual pun relating to Sigmund Freud’s identification of the hat with the repressed bourgeois man. Hirst’s large-scale rendering of the collage was first exhibited as part of the three-person show ‘In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida’, at Tate Britain in 2004.