For The Love Of God, Laugh is a screen print from 2007 that makes up part of Damien Hirst’s For The Love Of God series. The print shows an image of Hirst’s widely recognised sculpture For The Love Of God from 2007. In this print, the skull is viewed from a side-on angle and appears to be laughing, as the title indicates. The skull is set against a grey speckled backdrop that echoes the shimmering diamonds of the original sculpture.
Diamonds have featured in some of Hirst’s most enigmatic works of his career. For Hirst, diamonds are the ultimate expression of positivity and perfection in the face of death. In addition to this, Hirst’s fascination with diamonds stems from the uncertainty around their inherent worth. The artist has explained that his works centre around questions of whether diamonds are “just a bit of glass, with accumulated metaphorical significance? Or [whether they] are genuine objects of supreme beauty connected with life.”
Harking back to the work of Pop artist Andy Warhol, Hirst obsessively produces many varying images of the same subject across much of his oeuvre. Every print in the Love Of God series depicts a variation on the For The Love Of God sculpture. This particular print is rendered in a hyperrealist photographic style.