A provocative artist associated with the YBAs (Young British Artists), Damien Hirst often employs unexpected materials that conflate art, science, and popular culture. The hundreds of butterflies mounted in paint in Utopia—with their intense colors and symmetrical, geometric composition—recall a mandala or kaleidoscope image. Butterflies are among Hirst’s most frequent motifs. With their delicacy and short life cycles, they are a metaphor for the fragility of existence that reflects the artist’s interest in fundamental questions about mortality. 2008
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design Museum; butterflies; mandala; collage; symmetry; geometry; fragility; mortality
Book and Paper
RISD Museum and Overstrom, Neal, "Utopia" (2014). Channel. 42.