Gold Tears by Damien Hirst made with inkjet, glaze, and foil block, depicts rows of diamonds on gold shelves. The title itself shares Hirst’s intentions of revealing the duality in meaning of a diamond. At first, diamonds give a sense of happiness, desire, and perfection. They symbolize moments. Though, for many, diamonds can be linked to a sense of loss and even sadness. This contrast indicates the idea that outer beauty does not always translate to perfection.
To the other extreme, Hell, also made of inkjet, glaze, and foil block, depicts rows of stubbed out cigarette ends along with a single Cuban cigar. While this imagery is much less desirable, it holds the same underlying message of pleasure and death.
The duality of good and bad is a theme that Hirst carries out through multiple of his works. In his Pill Sculpture collection, he explores the minimalist aesthetic of medicinal pills. Here as well, the outer packaging of simplicity contrasts the true meaning medicine might hold to many. Hirst plays with large scale to mimic the confidence of the pharmaceutical industry, contrasting with the pain that comes along with many bottles.
As an artist, Hirst investigates the relationship between art, life and death, which is a fluid theme throughout many of his works. He reflects these explorations by creating highly contrasting imagery- both of beauty and pain. While each image reflects a completely different item, many of them share similar values of dual meaning.