Prints and printmaking hold an important position in Hirst’s artistic output, and Utopia reflects this constant investigation into and re-invention of techniques and medias. The use of metallic foil blocking onto inkjet transforms the print, inevitably drawing the viewer in with the bright colors and shimmering surfaces. Utopia draws inspiration from his 2004 paintings, Pills showing a series of various hand-painted tablets meticulously showcased and ordered in a cold-lit window.
The sterile, stainless steel wall-mounted medicine cabinet appears almost as an altar. Praising modern pharmaceuticals and highlighting our obsession with drugs, the cabinet shows how medicine and science seem to have replaced society ‘s faith in God. While Damien Hirsts’ pills and caps are colorful, nicely arranged, alluring and seductive as sweets, there is invariably an uncanniness underlying the beauty of these little tablets. By juxtaposing symbols of toxicity with antidotes his work depicts, once again, the fundamental themes of human existence and ambiguity; our struggle between the forces of dark and light, the complex relation between life and death, desire and fear.
“The array of tablets create a contrast between panacea and the obsessive repetition of the object toward an image of hyperbolic dependency.„