I Love You (gold leaf, black, turquoise) is a foil block print from Damien Hirst’s 2015 I Love You series. The print features a single butterfly depicted in black and turquoise and in exquisite, photographic detail. The butterfly sits in the centre of a bold, gold heart and set against a plain white backdrop.
Harking back to the work of Pop artist Andy Warhol, Hirst creates a series of twelve prints with the same subject and composition, but with varying colour combinations making each print unique. Rendering the fine detail of the butterfly wings and setting this against the bold colour and shape of the heart, Hirst combines these elements to produce an image that finds universally engaging triggers. This contrast between bold block colours and the realistic image plays with Hirst’s concern with facts and truth that images are assumed to depict.
The butterfly motif is a prominent figure that Hirst has used throughout his career to bring together themes around morality, life, love, faith and aesthetics. Speaking of his obsession with butterflies Hirst has explained, “I think rather than be personal you have to find universal triggers: everyone’s frightened of glass, everyone’s frightened of sharks, everyone loves butterflies.”