What To Collect Now - Prints & Editions Report

Love

In his Love prints, Damien Hirst pastes butterflies inside bold heart icons. Hirst once stated that his butterflies are intended to look as though they have accidentally got ‘stuck’ in the drying paint. For Hirst, the delicacy of butterflies prompts an ambiguous exploration of life’s fragility.

Sell Your Art
with Us

Join Our Network of Collectors. Buy, Sell and Track Demand

Submission takes less than 2 minutes & there's zero obligation to sell
The Only Dedicated Print Market IndexTracking 48,500 Auction HistoriesSpecialist Valuations at the Click of a Button Build Your PortfolioMonitor Demand & Supply in Network Sell For Free to our 25,000 Members

Meaning & Analysis

A firmly established motif in Hirst’s work, the butterfly dominates his love series, here appearing to flutter against bold heart-shaped backdrops. Each print shows an array of butterflies inside a visually simplified and bold heart shape. Every butterfly in each square composition is unique and is rendered in bright, contrasting colours to stand out against their plain white backdrops.

Reminiscent of his series of paintings entitled The Four Elements (Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow, Green and Blue) from 2005, the screen prints in the Love series show the butterflies as though trapped on fly-paper. Works such as this were intended to ‘look like an accident of paint with butterflies stuck on it,’ according to the artist. The butterfly is among Hirst’s most famous motifs, emblematic of the fleetingness of life and the romance of death. Hirst’s long-standing obsession with the butterfly motif was conceived in the late 1980s, when he saw flies become stuck on primed canvases whilst he was working on the fly and cow’s head sculpture A Thousand Years from 1990.

The Love series takes the optimistic sentiments of the Beatles for the prints’ titles like All You Need Is Love Love Love and fuses this with Hirst’s subtle reflections on mortality. The butterflies appear to be suspended in celebration, their wings retaining their vibrance even in death. Hirst uses the butterfly motif throughout his artistic oeuvre as a ‘universal trigger.’ This motif helps the artist to explore the uncertainties at the core of human experience: love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unconventional media.

10 Facts About Damien Hirst's Love

All You Need Is Love Love Love by Damien Hirst

All You Need Is Love Love Love © Damien Hirst, 2009

1. Hirst’s obsession with butterflies began in the 1980s.

Hirst’s long-standing obsession with the butterfly motif was conceived in the late 1980s, when he saw flies become stuck on primed canvases whilst he was working on the fly and cow’s head sculpture A Thousand Years from 1990.

Big Love by Damien Hirst

Big Love © Damien Hirst, 2010

2. Butterflies represent growth, change, life and death.

The butterfly is among Hirst’s most famous motifs, emblematic of the fleetingness of life and the romance of death.

Love Is All You Need by Damien Hirst

Love Is All You Need © Damien Hirst, 2016

3. The name of this series is inspired by the Beatles.

The Love series takes the optimistic sentiments of the Beatles for the prints’ titles like All You Need Is Love Love Love and fuses this with Hirst’s subtle reflections on mortality.

I Love You (gold leaf, black, fuchsia) by Damien Hirst

I Love You (gold leaf, black, fuchsia) © Damien Hirst, 2015

Discover live market data against your collection

Discover live market data against your collection

The only dedicated prints portfolio management system in the world. Add your collection to track value in real time.

Track demand on our trading floor

Track demand on our trading floor

Track live demand in works from our artist's portfolios and view access to the works you're looking for.

What to <br />Invest in Now

What to
Invest in Now

Data-driven market commentary on what's driving growth, supply & demand in the Prints and Multiples market.