Mescaline is a lenticular print from 2014 by Damien Hirst that shows a large grid of colourful spots set against a white backdrop. Unusual within Hirst’s artistic output, this print is created with lenticular technology and thus the spots move from side to side as the viewer moves. Mescaline is based on Hirst’s famous Spots paintings, a series of over 1,400 works on canvas that depict coloured dots in grid-like compositions set against white backdrops.
The Spots paintings are amongst Hirst’s most broadly recognised works. Stretching as far back as 1986, the Spot paintings recur thematically throughout Hirst’s career in a number of mediums and were first displayed at the landmark group show Freeze in London’s Docklands. As with other spot works on paper, Mescaline delivers stark, cynical satire using a visual language that is, on the surface, joyous and carefree. This work also uses movement as a means to communicate its meaning.
Discussing the aesthetic of the Spots paintings, 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 Mescaline is no exception. The print recalls the absurdity of Dada and gently mocks the processes of pointillism.