Hirst’s butterfly works have withstood a lot of critique and hatred, not least from animal rights groups. It is admittedly disturbing, but labeling it ‘eco-art’ may raise an even bigger question mark, as it involves taking lives for aesthetic purposes. Curious also is the way in which Christie’s explains the work: “The highly complex composition is created entirely from thousands of dead butterfly wings (…) which glisten with glorious life.”
One can easily chose to see it in another way, as in Hirst drawing attention to all the beauty in the world and how we humans continue to pollute and ignore the problems right in front of us. Seeing as Hirst is quite greengaged himself, it’s hard to imagine his motives being foul.
The work clearly plays with contrasts and as with many things in life — the beauty undercuts the horror of what we see. Sadly, it’s a buyers world, and as far as art goes, the freakier and more provocative it is – the better and more successful it is likely to become.