The Dead (fuchsia pink, lime green) is a signed foil block print in colours on Arches paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. In this print, Hirst renders a floating skull in a bold fuchsia pink with tones of dark lime green against a plain white backdrop. The skull dominates the centre of the composition as it stares out at the viewer of the print.
The print, produced in 2009, is one of thirty-one prints that compose the artist’s The Dead series. In this series, Hirst replicates the image of a skull, however, uses a unique combination of two colours to colour the skulls in each print, meaning that no two prints in the series are the same. The skull, as an icon, is a memento mori, an artistic reminder of the inevitability of death. This phrase literally translates from Latin into ‘remember that you [have to] die.’
Death is the central theme that runs throughout The Dead series. The theme is not new to the artist and has been explored and developed since the start of Hirst’s artistic career. Hirst rose to fame with his installation The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, made in 1991. The iconic piece, in which the artist immersed a tiger shark in formaldehyde in a clear glass display case, has become a global symbol of Britart.