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Memento 4

Memento 4
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Intaglio, 2008
Signed Print Edition of 30
H 120cm x W 108cm

Critical Review

Hirst depicts the butterfly motif obsessively across his artistic oeuvre, but every manifestation of the symbol is unique, depicted with different patterns, shapes and colours. Fascinated by themes that get to the core of the human condition, the butterfly motif for Hirst seems to bring together themes related to mortality, life, love, faith and aesthetics. The butterfly motif appears both in printed editions as well as in installations where visitors are situated in a room of live butterflies.

The Memento series also represents Hirst’s concern with the relationship between science and aesthetics, notably how a mimetic image of a butterfly can be very different from a real butterfly in the social world. For Hirst, the butterfly is a ‘universal trigger’ that many people share in finding attractive and joyous. Recalling someone once saying to him: “Butterflies are beautiful, but it’s a shame they have disgusting hairy bodies in the middle,” Hirst depicts his butterflies in a highly aesthetic way, adding luminous colour and emphasising their beautiful patterns.