Damien Hirst has consistently used animals and insects in his works, ranging from tiny maggots to huge sharks or cows. Here in Bognor Blue, eight different breeds of butterflies seem to flutter across the surface plane of the image. Their rainbow colours include yellow, blue, red and orange, which are beautifully set off by the bright turquoise background.
Hirst began making ‘Butterfly Paintings’ in 1991, when he exhibited his first solo show In and Out of Love at White Cube, London. The exhibition was spread over two floors, where an exciting process of transformation took place: upstairs, pupae were attached to white paintings as butterflies actively hatched during the opening; downstairs, dead butterflies became scattered upon colourful canvases. The full lifecycle of these butterflies unfolded during the opening, resulting in a spectacular and memorable performance.