The Dead (silver gloss, gunmetal) is a signed foil block print in colours on Arches paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. Hirst depicts a floating skull in this print, using silver gloss and gunmetal grey shading to produce a startling image. The skull occupies the centre of the composition, staring out at the viewer of the print against a plain white backdrop.
The print, made in 2009, is part of the artist’s The Dead series. The series is composed of thirty-one prints, all of which use the same image of a skull. While the skull in each print is the same, Hirst uses different colours in each print, bringing an exciting element of variety to the series. The Dead (silver gloss, gunmetal) is one of the more sombre prints in the series, as the colours Hirst uses are less bold and vibrant than others, such as The Dead (loganberry pink, lime green).
The central theme of The Dead series, as indicated by the series name, is death. Death is a central theme in Hirst’s oeuvre and questions of life and death have long preoccupied the artist. As well as depicting skulls, Hirst uses dead insects, butterflies and animals to further explore how death can be represented in and through art.