This striking etching titled Your Heart, is one in a series of six called The Wonder Of You from 2015 by Damien Hirst. Set against a royal blue backdrop, the print shows an image of seven hyperrealist butterflies in saturated colours, scattered across the composition. Each butterfly is unique and is placed randomly across the picture plane, some even appearing upside down.
The Wonder Of You series recalls one of Hirst’s earliest iterations of the butterfly motif, the In and Out of Love (Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays) installation from 1991. The butterfly has remained a constant motif throughout his career, reflecting a sense of idealised and universal beauty. Moreover, the butterfly for Hirst explores themes of life and death, notably in their appearance of life that they retain in death. Hirst has said of this, “I’ve got an obsession with death…But I think it’s like a celebration of life rather than something morbid.”
Hirst’s intuitive colour choice is based in aesthetic and non-rational demands that have remained in his practice since his art training at Goldsmiths. Your Heart shows the butterflies in an array of bright and contrasting colours such as red, green, blue, pink and yellow. In its playful colour choice, this print is eye-catching and has a universal appeal.