It’s A Beautiful Day 5 is a block print from Damien Hirst’s It’s A Beautiful Day series from 2013. The print shows a black and white butterfly with its wings outspread in the centre of the rectangular composition. The butterfly sits against a bright red backdrop of solid colour, producing a striking effect.
In its stark display, the butterfly in It’s A Beautiful Day 5 appears like an insect in a natural history museum cabinet. As with all the works in the It’s A Beautiful Day series, Hirst flattens the otherwise hyperrealist butterfly with the block colour backdrop and its deliberately centred position. The scientific precision with which the butterfly is rendered emphasises this notion of the insect display cabinet. Indeed, Hirst conflates the scientific with the aesthetic throughout this series. The aesthetic comes into play in the creation of a beautiful image that uses bright and complimentary colours.
Hirst uses the butterfly motif throughout his artistic oeuvre as a ‘universal trigger.’ This motif helps the artist to explore the uncertainties at the core of human experience: love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unconventional media. The It’s a Beautiful Day series points to this exploration in its title that evokes a sense of fleeting happiness.