This estimate blends recent public auction records with our own private sale data and network demand.
H 93cm x W 85cm
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Celine Fraser, Acquisition Coordinator
Butterfly Blue is an etching by Damien Hirst from 2008. The print shows a bright blue butterfly with its wings outspread in the centre of the composition. The butterfly sits against a stark black backdrop, producing a striking effect where the butterfly appears to glow in the dark.
In its striking display, the butterfly in Butterfly Blue appears like an insect in a natural history museum cabinet. As with many of his works that depict butterflies, Hirst flattens the otherwise hyperrealist insect with the dark, block colour backdrop and its deliberately centred position. The scientific precision with which the butterfly is rendered emphasises this notion of the insect display cabinet. Indeed, Hirst conflates the scientific with the aesthetic throughout many of his works. Aesthetics comes into play in the creation of a beautiful image that uses bright and complimentary colours.
Hirst uses the butterfly motif throughout his artistic oeuvre as a ‘universal trigger.’ This motif helps the artist to explore the uncertainties at the core of human experience: love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unconventional media. The butterfly motif appears both in printed editions as well as in installations by the artist, where visitors are situated in a room of live butterflies.