For the Love of God
This variant is currently sold
For the Love of God, 2007/8
Silkscreen with glaze and diamond dust on skull
From the edition of 1000
Signed and numbered in white pencil
Published by Other Criteria, London
Sheet: 13 x 9 inches (330 x 240 mm)
Damien Hirst’s For the Love of God diamond skull stands amidst the genres of art, history and religion as an unprecedented and conspicuous totem of death. Petrified into their settings, do the diamonds attempt to pay indulgences to God, as the title and lavish exterior suggest? Or is its creation a memento mori reminding us of the evanescence of human life? Does the skull defy or submit to death?
Influenced by a Mexican skull encrusted in turquoise and found in the British Museum, with the exception of the original teeth of the platinum cast human skull, the entire piece is encrusted with 8601 flawless pavé-set diamonds. The skull, which was purchased from a London taxidermy shop, has been forensically analysed to show that it once belonged to a 30-year old European male who lived some time between 1720 and 1810. All diamonds were ethically sourced for the work.