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Bognor Blue, Damien Hirst

Blue background with multiple butterflies in different colours and sizes

Damien Hirst, Bognor Blue, 2008

At a glance

Artist: Damien Hirst

Date: 2008

Materials: Butterflies and household gloss paint on canvas

Acquisition: Accepted under the Cultural Gifts Scheme by HM Government from Frank Dunphy and allocated to Pallant House

Damien Hirst creates sculpture and paintings that examine the complex relationship between art and beauty, religion and science, and life and death.

Since his first exhibition in the early 1990s, butterflies have been a recurring theme in his work. In 2006 he created kaleidoscopic patterns, made up of butterfly wings, as well as monochromatic paintings, onto which the butterflies appear to have alighted and become trapped.

In 2012, Tate had a major exhibition of his work. Hirst was one of the YBAs (Young British Artists) that dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. It was during this period that his work was closely linked to the collector Charles Saatchi.

He is famous for his artworks depicting dead animals including a sheep, a cow and a shark. These animals were often preserved in formaldehyde and were sometimes dissected. Another notable work by Hirst is For the Love of God a cast of a human skull encrusted with 8, 601 diamonds.