She Walks in Beauty is an intaglio print from Damien Hirst’s 2015 Love Poems series that shows five butterflies scattered across the composition, set against a blood red backdrop. The butterflies are depicted in photographic detail and in bright saturated colours like blue, red, pink, orange and yellow.
The Love Poems series represents Hirst’s interest in combining hyperrealism with artificial colour and traditional methods of art making. Hirst has exemplified his skill in dealing with photographic themes in his work, notably beginning with the Fact painting series in 2000. Of this obsession with the photographic Hirst has explained, “Art has been in constant battle for hundreds of years with every other kind of image-making…newspapers are supposed to be about facts and truth, and you believe you get a true view of the world from these images when you don’t: they’re completely fake.”
The hyperrealism of the butterflies in this print are undermined by the flatness of the bright red backdrop. Hirst’s intuitive colour choice is based in aesthetic and non-rational demands that have remained in his practice since his art training at Goldsmiths. She Walks in Beauty shows the butterflies in a playful array of bright and contrasting colours producing an eye-catching print with universal appeal.