Edition of 55
Polymer-gravure etching with lithographic overlay
36 x 26 Inches
The Wonder of You ( Your Smell ) by Damien Hirst
“I love butterflies because when they are dead they look alive. The foilblock gives them a feel similar to the actual butterflies in the way that they reflect the light. After ‘The Dead’ I had to do the butterflies because you can’t have one without the other.” – Damien Hirst
The Wonder of You Red by Damien Hirst
Damien Hirst has intensified his career-long fascination with the beauty, fragility and symbolism of butterflies to create a spectacular and multi-allusive evocation of mortality. More than that of any contemporary artist, and in a modern lineage that includes the work of Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon, the art of Damien Hirst confronts the balances between life and death, vanity and transience, value and worth, faith and existential alienation with a visceral and terrifying immediacy. Hirst’s choices of media, his innovations within them and the sheer scale on which he works, are integral to the philosophical depth and empathetic charge of his art; and to this end, Hirst has always pioneered in his work the uses, aesthetics and allegorical meanings of science and technology, as well as refining a highly sophisticated engagement with craft and technique.
In total ‘’The Wonder of You’ is made up of 6 Polymer-gravure etching with lithographic overlay, each one in an edition of 55. Vibrant with hue, the finished effect of each print is that of a resonant tension between the stillness of death and the trembling, iridescent life that the individual butterflies convey. ‘The Wonder of You’ is therefore quintessentially Hirstian, combining the impact of visual spectacle with a powerfully eloquent confluence of medium and visual language.
“This comes from an idea to fill the gallery with butterflies, an idea that I’ve had before. When I think of “The Souls” I think of Judgment Day and “Jacob’s ladder”. Many souls work better than one, so to hang them … and (to) use all the available space is a great way of doing it theologically”.
Hirst’s fascination with butterflies derives in large part from the way in which these beautiful insects embody both the beauty and the impermanence of life, becoming symbols of faith and mortality. Hirst says, “I love butterflies because when they are dead they look alive. The foilblock makes the butterflies have a feel similar to the actual butterflies in the way that they reflect the light. After ‘The Dead’ I had to do the butterflies because you can’t have one without the other”.