I Love You (gold leaf, turquoise, oriental gold) is one of a series of prints by Damien Hirst entitled I Love You from 2015. The foil block print shows a single butterfly with its wings open, in the centre of a gold leaf heart, against a white backdrop. The central butterfly is depicted in bright turquoise and gold.
Hirst sets the almost photographic motif of the butterfly against solid, block colour and the crisp outline of the heart. The use of bright turquoise against gold creates a print that has an immediate and visceral visual impact. Combining the vernacular of the everyday with artificial colour, Hirst’s work appeals to a broad audience and conveys seemingly universal themes surrounding love.
Speaking of his interest in the topic of love, Hirst has explained, “Love is a beautiful thing, and I see it as a small antidote to the horrors of the world.” Hirst has used the butterfly as a reflection of life throughout his artistic oeuvre and is fascinated by the appearance of life that the insect retains in death. The I Love You series is representative of the way that Hirst puts themes of morality, life, love, faith and aesthetics into dialogue with one another to create spectacular and aphoristic images.