Gold Tears is a mixed media from Damien Hirst’s Utopia series from 2012. The print shows an image of several rows of shiny diamonds on golden foil covered shelves in front of a mirrored backdrop. Depicted as a burning vision of golden light, the print symbolises the glorious eternity of diamonds that Hirst is so fascinated by.
Diamonds have featured in one of Hirst’s most enigmatic works, For The Love Of God from 2007 that is a sculpture of a skull entirely covered in diamonds. For Hirst, diamonds are the ultimate expression of positivity and perfection in the face of death. Gold Tears is indicative of this sentiment, notably in its title, making clear the ambiguity between eternal beauty and the melancholic realisation of loss inherent to eternity.
Gold Tears, as with other prints in the Utopia series, brings Hirst’s obsession with themes around death to the fore. This print in its unwavering glory and beauty points to the way that behind the shiny, glittery surface, there may be no meaning at all. Although different in subject matter to the depictions of pills in the series, Gold Tears similarly looks to themes of mortality, addiction and the human condition that make this print both complex and mysterious.