It’s A Beautiful Day Damien Hirst
Find out more about Damien Hirst’s It’s A Beautiful Day series, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.
Damien Hirst’s It’s A Beautiful Day series is made up of six block prints and was published in 2013. The prints are visually striking both as a full set and as individual artworks. Each print shows a different species of butterfly in the centre of the composition set against a brightly coloured backdrop.
In their stark display, the butterflies in It’s A Beautiful Day appear like insects in a natural history museum cabinet. Hirst flattens the otherwise hyperrealist butterflies with the block colour backdrop and their deliberately centred positioning. The scientific precision with which the butterflies are rendered in each print emphasises this notion of the insect display cabinet. Indeed, Hirst conflates the scientific with the aesthetic throughout this series as he does with many of his most famous works. The aesthetic comes into play in this series in the creation of a beautiful set of images that use bright and complimentary colours.
As with much of Hirst’s series and print editions, It’s A Beautiful Day is uniform in its use of composition and subject matter. The series is presented in an almost formulaic manner, as though they have been mass produced for consumption. In this sense, Hirst’s work is reminiscent of the Pop artist Andy Warhol’s works, exploring varying colour combinations across a series of works depicting the same subject and composition.
Hirst’s use of the naturalistic butterfly motif alongside an intuitive choice of colour is representative of his desire to dissolve the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. The contrast between bold block colours and the realistic image plays with Hirst’s concern with facts and truth that images are assumed to depict.
Why is It’s A Beautiful Day series so important?
It’s A Beautiful Day is important in its use of the butterfly motif that has been prominent throughout Hirst’s career. Hirst uses the butterfly motif throughout his artistic oeuvre as a ‘universal trigger.’ This motif helps the artist to explore the uncertainties at the core of human experience: love, life, death, loyalty and betrayal through unconventional media. The It’s a Beautiful Day series points to this exploration in its title that evokes a sense of fleeting happiness.
The artist’s preoccupation with butterflies is rooted in the way that even when the insects are dead, they appear to be alive. Well known for his obsession with mortality, Hirst claims that his use of the butterfly motif is a symbol for the celebration of life rather than death. Each butterfly is born with a unique pattern and mimics the individuality that frames much of human life. The butterfly motif appears both in printed editions as well as in installations where visitors are situated in a room of live butterflies.
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