Damien Hirst’s ‘LOVE’ Makes Me LOVE Valentine’s Day

Ok guys, it’s Valentine’s week.

'YU 4 EVA,' Damien Hirst, Polyurethane resin with ink pigment, 2015
‘YU 4 EVA,’ Damien Hirst, Polyurethane resin with ink pigment, 2015

I should probably admit that the phrase “Happy Valentine’s Day” has been known to bring up two very distinct reactions in me. For example, this year, knowing my boyfriend has a massage booked for me, my Valentine’s daydreaming consists of imagining the sweet, sweet perfume of incense and aromatherapy oils, hearing my back crack and feeling like the definition of zen. The fact that I am counting the minutes should be obvious.

But as lovely as this is, I can easily think back on just a couple years ago, when simply glimpsing a “Be Mine” Sweetheart was enough to send me into an anti-V-day whirlwind.

Luckily, this year guys and girls in either category of the above Saint Valentine’s dichotomy have something else festive to do aside from sit across a cramped two-top to their significant other or BFF, waiting impatiently for the prix fixe dessert, which by the way, is always heart shaped chocolate fondant.

Exterior Paul Stolper Gallery for Damien Hirst's 'LOVE' (Photo Credit: Paul Stolper Gallery)
Exterior Paul Stolper Gallery for Damien Hirst’s ‘LOVE’ (Photo Credit: Paul Stolper Gallery)

Damien Hirst‘s pop-up exhibition, ‘LOVE’ at Paul Stolper Gallery will put you in the Valentine’s spirit, and all completely sans sugary snacks, packed restaurants, TMI love notes or nauseating PDA. What could be better?

The bright, limited edition prints each feature a giant heart with a signature Hirst butterfly inside, and are uplifting and cheery. The pill-like heart sculptures entitled ‘YU 4 EVA’ and a faux heart-in-a-jar pierced through with an arrow and cleverly coined ‘Love Struck’ provide the much needed, self-mocking humour that this holiday, to it’s detriment, always seems to lack.

'I Love You - pink, poppy, red, cool gold,' Damien Hirst, Silkscreen & 2 colour foil block on Somerset Satin, 2015
‘I Love You – pink, poppy, red, cool gold,’ Damien Hirst, Silkscreen & 2 colour foil block on Somerset Satin, 2015
'Love Struck,' Damien Hirst, Cast resin, stainless steel crossbow bolt, glass & mineral oil, 2015
‘Love Struck,’ Damien Hirst, Cast resin, stainless steel crossbow bolt, glass & mineral oil, 2015
'I Love You - black, cool gold, loganberry,' Damien Hirst, Silkscreen & 2 colour foil block on Somerset Satin, 2015
‘I Love You – black, cool gold, loganberry,’ Damien Hirst, Silkscreen & 2 colour foil block on Somerset Satin, 2015

Basically, no matter what side of the February 14th bed I wake up on, Damien Hirst has officially managed to make me love Valentine’s Day. I mean, if anyone could…

PS. Prices start from £5,600, so for those who are still shopping, budget-permitting, it’s quite an upgrade from flowers and chocolate.

-India Irving

Damien Hirst’s ‘LOVE’ is on view at Paul Stolper Gallery until 21st February; 31 Museum Street, London, WC1A 1LH; Open Wednesday – Saturday 10AM-6PM; Admission: FREE

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