Forgotten Promises

18 January 2011 – 19 March 2011
Solo Exhibition. Gagosian Gallery, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Photographed by Martin Wong, courtesy of Gagosian Gallery © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

Hirst unveiled a new series of ‘Fact’ paintings, entitled ‘Love Paintings’, which take as their subjects detailed stock photo images of butterflies. The oil on canvas works were a departure from the newspaper images and personal photographs which form the subject matter of earlier ‘Fact’ painting exhibitions, ‘The Elusive Truth’ (2005) and ‘Beyond Belief’ (2007).

Of the diamond, an overriding feature in many of the works exhibited at ‘Forgotten Promises’, Hirst explains ‘they are a symbol of everything that’s eternal, but then they have a dark side as well.”[1] Diamond cabinets and monochrome butterfly paintings adorned with cubic zirconia were unveiled, alongside the exhibition’s focal work, ‘For Heaven’s Sake’ (2010). Cast from a baby’s skull taken from a 19th-century pathologist’s collection, the platinum plates are set with 8,128 pavé-set diamonds: 7,105 pink and 1,023 white. The work acts as a sequel to Hirst’s first diamond skull, ‘For the Love of God’ (2007).

[1] Damien Hirst cited in Hans Ulrich Obrist, ‘Epiphany: A Conversation with Damien Hirst’, ‘End of an Era’ (Other Criteria/Gagosian Gallery, 2012), unpag.