The animal kingdom has always been a source of inspiration for Damien Hirst, and these 12 beautiful etchings of colored butterflies on black backgrounds, are another such example. In these prints the artist takes all signs of life from the butterflies and has them, instead, looking like pieces from a collection in a wunderkammer.
Hirst has said: "I love their repetition in my collection, it’s just the same question asked again and again and again in slightly different ways. It’s life’s ultimate question: why, where, what, how? They transcend time and space and location."
These prints establish a powerful visual tension between the frailty and exquisite colors of the butterflies, and the somewhat drab, industrial colors of the gloss backgrounds on which they are fastened. The effect is poetic: the sense of a tiny life arrested, and of a transient, short-lived beauty.