The Dead (gunmetal, lime green) is a signed foil block print in colours on Arches paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. Hirst renders a floating skull in this print, using gunmetal grey and lime green to produce a bold image that stands out against the plain white backdrop.
The print, made in 2009, is part of the artist’s The Dead series, which is composed of thirty-one prints. The prints are all similar in design and format, however the difference lies in the unique combination of colours that Hirst uses in each print. The skulls rendered in the series are a means for Hirst to confront the subject of life and death through the use of art. The Dead is not the only series by Hirst which takes its inspiration from the skull icon. The image of a skull also dominates the I Once Was What You Are, You Will Be What I Am series from 2007, as well as Hirst’s Memento etchings from 2008.
Hirst enjoys investigating and challenging contemporary belief systems, such as religion, love and medicine through his art and his works are a means for him to dissect the tensions at the heart of human experience. Throughout The Dead series, Hirst explores the tension between living and dying, as exemplified through the use of lively colours to depict such a morbid icon.