H9-8 Control is a laminated giclée print on aluminium composite panel by the renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. In this print, three cherry blossom trees occupy the centre of the composition, standing upright, their branches spread out across the print, showcasing the spectacular beauty of their blossoms. Hirst renders the blossoms in a mixture of pinks, when touches of red, white and green. The style of the print is visibly influenced by Impressionism and Pointillism. The trees are depicted against a pale blue backdrop. The simplicity of the sky in the background contrasts with the dynamic and busy foreground of the print, in which the flowers appear to be bursting with life.
H9-8 Control is part of Hirst’s H9 The Virtues series, composed of eight prints, all of which are dedicated to portraying the natural beauty of the cherry blossom trees. The names of the prints are derived from the ‘Eight Virtues of Bushidō’ according to Nitobe Inazō -Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, and Control. Hirst explains why he chose to name the prints in such a way: “Blossoms are optimistic and bright yet fragile, just like we are and I hope that The Virtues can remind us to always try and get the most from life.”
H9-8 Control combines figuration and abstraction, producing a unique floral landscape. The print pays homage to, yet also subverts, the great artistic movements of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hirst is known for his bold experimentations and his love to shock. Subversion plays a key role in his artistic career.