Deific is a signed screen print in colours with glitter made by the critically acclaimed British artist, Damien Hirst. Produced in 2013, the print depicts a beautiful geometric pattern composed of butterflies on a square canvas. Blue and brown colours dominate the print, with splashes of red and white. The colours used in this print differ from the bold and vibrant yellows, greens and oranges that Hirst tends to privilege in his butterfly patterns.
Butterflies, along with skulls and diamonds, are one of the artist's most well-known motifs. Hirst’s most memorable use of butterflies was arguably in 1991, when the artist created a live installation which involved butterflies emerging from pupae attached to white painted canvases kept in a humid exhibition room. The artist also produced the Kaleidoscope paintings, which he started in 2001, in which he produced mesmerising patterns of concentric circles composed of butterfly wings, much like the pattern in Deific.
Hirst argues that butterflies embody the fragility of life due to the fact that they retain an iridescent beauty even in death, as evidenced in this print. The use of butterflies enables the artist to explore questions of life and death throughout his artworks, indeed for Hirst: “art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.”