Damien Hirst I Love You Series
My wife is a fan of the artist known as "the Elephant Man" so when she saw this portfolio on my desk last week, her first words were "Oh yes! That's one of his!"
Damien Hirst I Love You Series
For example, one of his creations is a butterfly made up of layers of silicone skin coated in gold leaf titled "I Love You Series" by Damien Hirst. To produce it he needs two types of chemicals - hydrogen peroxide and ammonia nitrate. First he fills a container with hydrogen peroxide and seals it shut. When exposed to air, oxygen causes the solution to break down and release free radicals which react with the nitrogen present in the hydrogen peroxide to become hydroxide ions. By doing this the hydrogen peroxide releases enough heat to boil away producing steam which rises through vents above the top of the jar. Once released the steam mixes with ambient moisture to turn back into droplets of pure hot water which fall down through holes in the lid. Now Hirst puts a mesh screen across the bottom of the jar and places a sheet of paper soaked in ammonia nitrate between the screen and the jar itself. Ammonia nitrate is another compound that produces fumes similar to those given off by chlorine gas. If it falls upon the surface of the mixture below it will cause bubbles to rise through the screen and stick to the paper. As the bubbles grow bigger the paper becomes inflated and eventually bursts along its edges making a hole big enough for Hirst to remove the now golden covered butterfly.
When asked why he chooses to use certain materials rather than others, Hirst said "I want something that is going to go rotten". Which explains why he likes to work with substances that decompose quickly. Even though his process seems very technical it actually only requires a few tools and basic knowledge of chemistry. If you've got access to chemicals and equipment such as laminar flow hoods then you could try replicating his methods yourself. However, it isn't easy to get hold of hydrogen peroxide or ammonia nitrate without paying high prices for them. Fortunately you do not need to buy expensive lab equipment to replicate Hirst's creations since you can find plenty of imitation products online.
If you'd prefer something less complicated to hang on your wall then consider getting a Damien Hirst original print. Here on our website you'll find a selection of limited edition photographs and posters of various sizes.
Damien Hirst has utilized butterflies in a lot of his work. Hirst uses butterflies to symbolizes the balances of life and death. Damien has portrayed many times in his work the use of technology and science in addition to his technique and craftsmanship when creating these works. In Hirst's eyes, butterflies represent faith and mortality. Hirst explains “I love butterflies because when they are dead they look alive. The foil block 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".
It was indeed one of Damien Hirst's most famous works - The Birth (1995) which depicts an elephant being born in a tank full of formaldehyde liquid. This particular work hangs in New York at MoMA alongside other well-known pieces like Lullaby (1996), For Your Eyes Only (1999) and Comeback (2003). In fact it would be fair to say that after seeing The Birth many people think of all three of these works together because they are related somehow. So if you're looking for something to give your friends or loved ones as gifts it may be worth considering buying them some sort of combination including The Birth, Lullaby or even both. There's no point just giving either The Birth or any one of Hirst's later works though; he also makes smaller sculptures such as Butterflies & Moths (1997), Blood (2000) and Black Museum (2004). These can often be found hanging with the larger works in art galleries around the world but they don't command quite the same price tag.
The thing about Damien Hirst artwork is that there is never really anything simple about it. Each piece has been carefully crafted and designed over several years until finally coming out into public view. Most of what we see here comes directly from the studio where he creates each individual part before assembling it altogether. All artists have their own way of working: Jackson Pollock used drip painting techniques while Francis Bacon preferred to paint raw meat onto canvas. But Hirst does things differently and perhaps takes more inspiration from science than anyone else. He uses scientific processes to create new forms. His method involves creating tiny vats of different chemicals inside sealed chambers called biohazards. After waiting days, weeks and months he then samples the resulting concoctions using small glass containers. Then, once satisfied with how a chemical reacts with another substance, he adds water to make the final product come alive.