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The Dead (silver gloss, topaz)

The Dead (silver gloss, topaz)
Signed Print

Damien Hirst

Foil Block, 2009
Signed Print Edition of 15
H 41cm x W 30cm

Critical Review

The print, made in 2009, is part of the artist’s The Dead series. The series is composed of thirty-one prints, each depicting a floating skull. Hirst uses a different combination of colours in each print, making each one unique. In The Dead (silver gloss, topaz), the skull acts as a memento mori, an artistic reminder of the inevitability of death. Not only is death a central theme in The Dead series and this print, it is also a theme that runs throughout Hirst's works. Since the late 1980’s when the artist was studying Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, Hirst has used a variety of artistic mediums, such as installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to look at the theme of death and the way in which art can be used to explore the subject.

Hirst’s works often look at the relationship between art, life and death. The artist himself has said that art is “about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.” Hirst has used the skull motif in other series such as I Once Was What You Are, You Will Be What I Am, 2007, composed of six artworks and Memento, a collection of thirteen etchings from 2008. What makes the skulls in The Dead series different, however, is Hirst’s creative and bold use of colour.

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