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Damien Hirst (British, b.1965)
LOT ID: 95652
Victory Over Death, 2008

Etching / Engraving, Photogravure, on Velin Arches paper, with hand-coloring in gouache by the artist
36.8 х 33.75 in. (93.47 x 85.72 cm.)
Signed, in pencil lower right and numbered on verso
Print/Casting Year 2008
Edition of 58
Foundry/Publisher Charles Booth-Clibborn & The Paragon Press, pub.
Lot description
Image Size: 36.8 x 33.75 in (93.5 x 85.7 cm)
Sheet Size: 47 x 42.5 in (119.4 x 108 cm)

This print comes from a small edition of 58, with each impression heightened with multicolored, hand-painted gouache sparkles. It features an image of Hirst's infamous "For the Love of God" (2007), a platinum cast of a human skull covered in over 8,600 flawless diamonds, making it the most expensive work of art by a living artist. The diamonds representing permanence ("diamonds are forever"), are juxtaposed against the skull that contains them, which references the rich tradition of momento mori images ("Remember that you will die"). Hirst puts a luxury spin on the old-fashioned still life painting style called Vanitas, made popular by Baroque artists of the 16th century. Vanitas, Latin for "emptiness," refers to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the futility of pleasure.

Hirst has become known for reinvigorating worn traditions of art-making with a dash of irony and then, in the tradition of Andy Warhol, replicating them to create a signature brand. Hirst's diamond skulls also recall Warhol’s skulls and diamond dust shoes. Just like Warhol made screenprint versions of his paintings, Hirst has made several prints that incorporate the image of the diamond skull, creating more accessible version of the extremely expensive original.
Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
  • Victory Over Death by Damien Hirst
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