Studio Skull is a signed coloured serigraphy and diamond dust on Somerset paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. Made in 2009, the work shows a photographed human skull. Positioned in the centre of the composition and set against a plain backdrop, the skull looks directly at the viewer. Hirst splatters the skull with blue and green paint, resonating with the technique Hirst uses in his iconic spin paintings.
Death is a central theme in this print and is a subject that has long fascinated the artist. Since the late 1980’s, Hirst has used various artistic practices, from installation to sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the relationship between art, life and death. Hirst explains, “art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.” When exploring questions of life, the subject of death inevitably also arises.
The skull in this print functions as a memento mori. Coming from the Latin, which literally translates as “remember that you [have to] die.”A memento mori is a visual reminder of the inevitability of death. By making a skull into art, Hirst appears to celebrate life in the face of death, encouraging the viewer not to fear the inevitable end of life.