Eat is a silkscreen print by renowned contemporary artist Damien Hirst. Produced in 2017 the print depicts the pharmaceutical packaging of a box of tablets. The design is very simple and understated. White dominates the composition, with the addition of some turquoise which livens the plain design. The product name, ‘Eat,’ is written in capital letters at the top of the composition. Hirst includes various other scientific information, such as the drug composition of the tablets. In doing this, Hirst blurs the boundaries between art and science, demonstrating how modern medicine can be considered art. The understated design of the packaging reflects society’s confidence in modern medicine and the narrative propagated by pharmaceutical companies that everyone and everything can be cured by modern medicine.
Eat is one of twelve prints that compose Hirst’s Eat the Rich series. Each print in the series is inspired by pharmaceutical packaging. The pharmaceutical products in the series are given unusual names which tend to carry violent or aggressive connotations, which contrasts with the healing properties medicine is meant to bring. Like Hirst’s series of silkscreen prints, The Last Supper, Eat the Rich is a series which also explores Hirst’s obsession with the human body, life and death and mortality.
As well as being interested in the body and how medicine interacts with it, Hirst has had a long-standing fascination with the pharmaceutical industry. This interest was first pursued at the start of Hirst’s artistic career with his Medicine Cabinets series which the artist produced while studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths College in London in the late 1980s.