I Love You Damien Hirst
Find out more about Damien Hirst’s I Love You series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Damien Hirst’s I Love You portfolio is a set of 12 prints from 2015, each foil blocked with a single butterfly with its wings outspread in the centre of a heart shape. Eight of the hearts across the series are silk screened and six are in gold leaf.
Simplistic in its visual language and bright in colour, the I Love You series conveys an immediate message of love and joy to the viewer. Hirst is notoriously ambivalent with his subject matter and brings themes of love and death into dialogue with one another. This particular series plays on such themes through the butterfly motif that retains the appearance of life even in death. Rendering the fine detail of the butterfly wings and setting this against the bold colour and shape of the heart in every print, Hirst combines these elements to produce an image that strikes universally engaging triggers. This contrast between bold block colours and the realistic image plays with Hirst’s concern with the way that images are assumed to depict facts and truth.
Hirst nods to the work of Pop artist Andy Warhol, creating a series of 12 prints each with the same subject matter and composition, but with varying colour combinations that make each print unique. Many of Hirst’s prints and editions take a single idea or motif that is repeated in many variations across an entire series. This is representative of Hirst’s interest in exploring ideas to their absolute end and relating this to colour, form and composition.
Much of Hirst’s work foregrounds themes of love, aesthetics, life and death and the I Love You series exemplifies this. Speaking of his interest in the topic of love, Hirst has explained, “Love is a beautiful thing, and I see it as a small antidote to the horrors of the world.” Particularly, Hirst’s colour choice of various shades of red, pink, and gold, as well as the central heart motif, make clear his interest in love as a feeling and concept universally understood by many.
Why is the I Love You series so important?
The central butterfly motif that forms the basis of the I Love You series is a prominent figure that Hirst has used throughout his career. The artist’s interest in butterflies lies in their symbolic relation to death and resurrection. Hirst began his obsession with the motif when he was 26 with his installation In and Out of Love (Butterfly Paintings and Ashtrays) (1991). This work included live butterflies and was an exploration of ‘the way the real butterfly can destroy the idea (birthday-card) kind of love; the symbol exists apart from the real thing.’ The I Love You series exemplifies this idealised beauty as separate from the insect itself that Hirst encapsulates in his work.
The I Love You series is a visually striking series produced in the most recent stage of Hirst’s career. Whether purchased as a group of 12 or as an individual artwork, these prints make for a highly desirable addition to any collection.
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