For The Love of God, Pray is a signed screen print from 2007 from Damien Hirst’s For The Love Of God series. The print shows a photographic image of a diamond encrusted skull with its mouth open and positioned head-on to the viewer. The image of the skull is set against a stark black backdrop, creating a dramatic composition.
The diamond-encrusted skull is an image of one of Hirst’s most widely recognised sculptures For The Love Of God from 2007. Hirst cast the original work from a real human skull, purchased from a London taxidermist. The cast is made from platinum plates and is then set with diamonds, weighing a huge 1,106.18 carats. The teeth that are inserted into the jaw are those of the original skull.
As the title of this print indicates, Hirst is fascinated by religion, and his work addresses the endless renewal of faith, even in the face of mortality. The skull is used to represent death, but by covering it in diamonds, Hirst transforms an image of mortality into one of timeless beauty and enthralment. The symbolism in this series synthesises Hirst’s fascination with the intersection between religion, aesthetics and science that govern humanity.