Killer is a silkscreen print from 2017, produced by contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. In this print, Hirst depicts the packaging of a pharmaceutical product. White dominates the composition, with touches of light blue supplementing the simple design. The name of the pharmaceutical product, ‘Killer’, is written in a simple font in black at the top of the print. The scientific details of the tablet’s contents are included in the composition, enabling Hirst to challenge the strict dichotomy between art and science, demonstrating how the two can come together, as they do in this print.
Killer is one of twelve prints that compose Hirst’s Eat the Rich series. In this series, Hirst uses the format of a tablet packet and adds his creative touch by creating his own product names and packaging. Throughout the series, the products are named after words that carry connotations of violence, force or aggression, this is perplexing and contradictory, given the healing nature of medicine.
As demonstrated in this print and the entire series, Hirst is fascinated in modern medicine and the pharmaceutical industry. The minimalist design of Killer reflects how pharmaceutical packaging tends to have simple designs which give off an air of confidence and perpetuate the 21st century belief that everything can be cured and solved by the marvels of modern medicine.