Ciclopirox Olamine is an etching from 2004 by Damien Hirst. The square print shows many spots depicted in muted colours and arranged methodically into a perfect circle. Each spot in the print is a different colour and every print in the series represents a unique set of colour combinations, marking Hirst’s fascination with exploring colour and form.
Stretching as far back as 1986, the spot paintings thematically recur throughout Hirst’s career in a number of artistic mediums and were first displayed at the landmark group show Freeze in London’s Docklands. This print is markedly different from Hirst’s more famous spot paintings, notably in the use of a muted colour palette and in its circular rather than squared composition.
Discussing the spot aesthetic, Hirst has proclaimed “I believe all painting and art should be uplifting for the viewer. I love colour. I feel it inside me. It gives me a buzz.” At his best, Hirst packs multiple layers into the seemingly simple and Ethidium Bromide Aqueous Solution is no exception. The print recalls the absurdity of Dada and gently mocks the processes of pointillism. Hirst employed a large number of technicians and assistants to create many of the spot works to match the scale of his ambition.