Damien Hirst, ‘Beautiful Love Strummerville with Beautiful Butterflies’, Sotheby's

From the Catalogue
Damien Hirst made his very first Spin Paintings in 1992 in his studio in Brixton, London. He bestowed the works with wittily convoluted titles that were to become a hallmark of the series, such as Beautiful Ray of Sunshine on a Rainy Day Painting and Beautiful where did all the colour go painting. When Hirst started the Spins in earnest in 1994 on circular shaped canvases, they became one of the most instantly recognizable and popular series to date.

The present work, Beautiful Love Strummerville with Beautiful Butterflies, is unique for its combination of both the spin technique and Hirst’s use of exotic butterflies. Butterflies, both living and dead, have long occupied a position of the utmost centrality in Hirst's production ever since the early 1990s. Recounting his formative interest in these creatures, Hirst explains: "I had them in my bedroom...I got wooden frames and nylon mesh and I made a huge box...I found out where you could buy the pupae and all that kind of stuff and I got them all. I got them all in my bedroom and I bred them in my bedroom. I remember it because it was so cramped. There was only room for me bed and the box" (the artist in Exh. Cat., Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Damien Hirst, 2004-2005, p. 78).

Following Joe Strummer's untimely death, his family and friends launched Strummerville, a charitable foundation for the production of new music. The main aim of Strummerville is to provide benefits to individuals, groups and organizations to enable the production of music by creative young people who would otherwise be prevented from doing so simply because they lack the necessary funds.

Representing a resplendent and iconic exemplification of Hirst’s most career-defining concerns, Beautiful Love Strummerville with Beautiful Butterflies announces a suspended animation of love, beauty and a celebration of life.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's

Signature: signed, titled and dated 2008 on the reverse

Strummerville Charity, England (donation of the artist)
Sotheby's, London, 16 September 2008, Lot 109
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner

About Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988 when he conceived and curated "Freeze," an exhibition in a disused warehouse that showed his work and that of his friends and fellow students at Goldsmiths College. In the nearly quarter of a century since that pivotal show (which would come to define the Young British Artists), Hirst has become one of the most influential artists of his generation. His groundbreaking works include The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark in formaldehyde; Mother and Child Divided (1993) a four-part sculpture of a bisected cow and calf; and For the Love of God (2007), a human skull studded with 8,601 diamonds. In addition to his installations and sculptures, Hirst’s Spot paintings and Butterfly paintings have become universally recognized.

British, b. 1965, Bristol, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom