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Utopia

Utopia
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Mixed Media, 2012
Signed Print Edition of 55
H 69cm x W 83cm

Critical Review

Pharmaceutical iconography has been a prominent theme throughout Hirst’s artistic oeuvre. Notably, the artist’s first solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in 1991 featured numerous glass fronted cabinets displaying empty medicine boxes. Later, one of Hirst’s sculpture from 2000, The Void, appeared as the artist’s first pill cabinet work. Indeed, Utopia is an image that directly references this earlier work, showing the painted pills as little sculptures and the mirrored back of the cabinet to create a visually complexing work.

The display of pills as high art represents the absurdity in controlling feelings in body and mind through modern medicine. Hirst has explained why he is interested in the medical pill motif saying that, “Pills are a brilliant little form, better than any minimalist art. They’re all designed to make you buy them…they come out of flowers, plants, things from the ground, and they make you feel good, you know, to just have a pill, to feel beauty.”