The Dead (island copper, raven black)

The Dead (island copper, raven black)
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Foil Block, 2014
Signed Print Edition of 15

Critical Review

The print, made in 2009, is part of the artist’s The Dead series. The series is composed of thirty-one prints which each depict a skull. The prints differ from one another due to Hirst’s bold use of colour. The exciting range of colours Hirst employs in the series seems to contrast with the sombre theme of the series, death. Indeed, in his other series, such as I Once Was What You Are, You Will Be What I Am (2007) and Memento(2008), Hirst depicts the skulls in black and white. The bright and lively colours Hirst uses in the series reflect his opinion that “you can frighten people with death or an idea of their own mortality, or it can actually give them vigour.” With this series, the artist appears to be sending a message to the viewer, that death is not something to be feared, but something you must embrace with strength.

Hirst’s fascination with death, which he explores frequently in his artworks, stems from his adolescence when he would visit the anatomy department of Leeds Medical School. Then sixteen, Hirst would produce life drawings of the body parts he encountered there, pushing the boundary of what was considered an acceptable topic for art.

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