Till Death Do Us Part (heavenly peppermint green, silver gloss, racing) is one of ten prints that make up Damien Hirst’s 2012 Till Death Do Us Part series. The print shows a silkscreen image of a human skull facing directly out towards the viewer. The image of the skull is taken from a photograph and flattened, depicted in saturated colours of green and gold and set against a bright orange backdrop.
This series is undoubtedly inspired by the Pop artist Andy Warhol and his many brightly coloured screen prints that he is renowned for. Warhol was obsessed with the reproduction of images in mass culture, hence his repetition of the same subject several times across a single series and Hirst plays on this fascination with repetition and reproduction. The repetition of a single image across the entire series explores the concept of democratising high art and mimics mass-media imagery.
Hirst takes a playful approach to the art historical genre of still life painting, the subject of the skull referencing the ‘vanitas’ still life genre. Vanitas paintings throughout history have functioned as a reminder of human mortality and the fragility of life, a theme that is present throughout much of Hirst’s works. Hirst’s use of vivid non-naturalistic colours points produces a jarring effect on the viewer, set in contrast to the morbid subject matter.