The Cure (violet, electric red, powder blue) is a silkscreen print by Damien Hirst on Somerset Tub. Produced in 2014, the print shows a two-colour pill, rendered by Hirst in electric red and powder blue against a deep, violet background. On the top half of the pill, Hirst writes ‘this end up’ in faded, capitalised letters, accompanied by an arrow pointing upwards. Hirst’s use of two primary colours, red and blue, clash with one another, making the pill stand out against the dark purple background.
The Cure (violet / electric red / powder blue) is one of thirty silkscreen prints that compose Hirst’s The Cure series. In this series, Hirst renders a singular pill in a combination of two colour tones against a bold and vibrant coloured backdrop. The bold and vibrant colours Hirst uses throughout the series resonates with the Pop Art style popularised by Andy Warhol in the 1960s. Hirst was clearly influenced by Warhol, the ‘father of Pop Art’.
While Warhol elevated consumer goods to the status of artworks, Hirst instead chooses to do this to pharmaceutical products. Both artists blur boundaries and challenge the definition of what art is. By making pharmaceutical products into art, Hirst challenges the strict dichotomy between art and science, demanding that we appreciate the art behind science.