The Dead (silver gloss, logan berry pink) is a signed foil block print in colours on Arches paper produced by renowned contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. In the print, Hirst renders a skull in a shimmering silver gloss with hints of bright loganberry pink. Set against a plain white backdrop, the skull appears to float in 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 compose Hirst’s The Dead series. As the title of the series suggests, death is the central theme of the series. Indeed, the skull here acts as a memento mori, a visual reminder of the inevitability of death. Although death is often thought of in negative terms, Hirst’s use of bright and bold colours counters this preconception and challenges the viewer to embrace death and the reality of human mortality. As the artist explains: “you can frighten people with death or an idea of their own mortality, or it can actually give them vigour.”
From a young age, Hirst was interested in questions of life and death. When he was sixteen, Hirst would go to Leeds Medical School and visit the anatomy department to produce life drawings of the cadavers and body parts he found there.