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Foil Block, 2010
Signed Print Edition of 150
H 48cm x W 43cm
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Celine Fraser, Acquisition Coordinator
Science Xmas Butterfly Print is a signed foil block print in colours, on Arches 88 paper dust produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. The print, made in 2010, shows a butterfly with its wings outstretched, rendered against a plain white backdrop. The butterfly’s body has been painted over in white, red and green paint, simplifying the intricate pattern that would have marked its wings. Dominating the centre of the print, the butterfly is accompanied by three spots, one grey, one red and one green.
The spots in Science Xmas Butterfly Print allude to Hirst’s famous Spot Paintings in which the artist arranges coloured spots in precise grid formations. Along with spots, the butterfly holds an important place in Hirst’s visual language. Hirst frequently incorporates the insect into his artworks, most notably in the Kaleidoscope series, an impressive body of prints that are composed of patterns of concentric circles made up of butterfly wings.
Explaining why he is so attracted to the butterfly, Hirst elaborates: “I love butterflies because when they are dead, they look alive.” For Hirst, butterflies embody the fragility of life as they retain an iridescent beauty, even in death, as evidenced in this print. The use of butterflies in his artworks is therefore a means for the artist to explore themes of life and death in his art.