The Dead (lime green, raven black) 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 lime green colour with raven black shading against a plain white backdrop. The skull occupies the centre of the composition, staring out at the viewer of the print.
Produced in 2009, this print is one of thirty-one prints that form The Dead series. In this series, Hirst reproduces the image of a skull, however he adds bold and lively colours to his prints, which counter the negative and sombre connotations that traditionally accompany the image of a skull. Indeed, the colours Hirst uses in The Dead series contrast with Hirst’s other series, such as I Once Was What You Are, You Will Be What I Am (2007) and Memento (2008), which use the image of a skull, yet privilege a more toned back black and white style.
The theme of death, which is central to The Dead series, has been a long-standing subject of interest for Hirst. From a young age, Hirst was fascinated with questions of life and death. When he was sixteen, Hirst started producing life drawings on his visits to the anatomy department of Leeds Medical School. This interest has stayed with the artist, as evidenced in The Dead series and many of his other artworks.