They have been a part of the heritage and visual identity of Hirst’s work since his early days and these are the newest additions to one of his most popular motifs: the butterflies have landed…and these ones are more affordable than you might think.
Damien Hirst’s wide-ranging practice – installations, sculpture, painting and drawing – has sought to challenge the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. No more so it would seem that with his long standing Butterfly series.
Hirst’s butterfly etchings are rendered here in fine detail, appearing from their black backgrounds like encased specimens in an enthusiast’s collection. Their appearance is more photographic than a painting, only adding to this notion that they are meant to be real butterflies, preserved for science and study
Having been depicted in art, embedded in resin and seemingly characterised in literature for many centuries, the butterfly has wide significance as a symbol of love, regeneration, fortune, freedom, spirituality and death. Not without coincidence several of which are the chief themes in Hirst’s work, and thus the reason why they so frequently appear in Hirst’s art.
Last year Hirst come under fire for plastering a bicycle with hundreds of dead butterflies in his latest creation. He was accused of horrific barbarity by animal rights groups.
The bike was ridden by Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France finale where it since then went on display in galleries in Paris and New York before being auctioned to raise as much as £1million for Armstrong’s charity.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol, England in 1965 and was one of many rising stars to emerge from Goldsmith's College London in the late 80’s. He immediately grabbed attention when he curated the now renowned student exhibition, Freeze in East London.
This, followed by many successful exhibitions and an infamous relationship with the super collector Charles Saatchi led to him headlining in the group show Young British Artists of which Hirst became the most prominent member of the 90’s artistic movement of the same.