British pop artist Sir Peter Blake’s Homage to Damien Hirst is a series of silkscreen prints which are a continuation of Blake’s Butterfly Man motif: a character who recurs in several of his collage series (Venice Suite, World Tour, Paris Quartet) as well as a tribute to his friend and inspiration Damien Hirst.
‘Damien Hirst has used butterflies a lot in his work, and it was pointed out that ‘the butterfly man’ owes more than a little to his work, so I was happy to dedicate him in homage to Damien. I am an enormous admirer of Damien’s work.’
In the series Blake once again makes use of retro postcard images as backdrops to his collage of the butterfly man, dozens of butterflies and an assortment of eclectic characters from the miscellaneous print paraphernalia that he has hoarded over the years.
Each print is a 24 colour silkscreen print with glazes in a signed limited edition of 100. The prints are The Butterfly Man Hollywoodland, The Butterfly Man Eastbourne, The Butterfly Man Tokyo, The Butterfly Man Tunis and The Butterfly Man Venice. The prints can also be purchased as a full set with matching edition numbers
The Butterfly Man starts in Hollywood and this print captures the golden age of Hollywood glamour with its vista of the Hollywood hills and kitsch mini-mansions. Frolicking in the foreground along with the butterfly man are numerous Hollywood legends including Charlie Chaplin, James Dean, Laurel & Hardy, Errol Flynn, Elvis, Marilyn and Judy Garland.
Blake then returns to home ground for the charming Butterfly Man, Eastbourne, revelling in the vintage glory of the British seaside holiday. No A-list celebs here, just a swarm of colourful butterflies being released onto the sea-front amongst an idealised group of Edwardian promenaders.
The Butterfly Man then goes to Japan and orchestrates his pets in front of the statue of Saigo Takamori (famous samurai) in The Butterfly Man, Tokyo. Along with Japanese ladies in elegant kimonos, Blake includes some unexpected visitors in the form of African tribesmen and a European lady in formal costume.
The butterfly man’s travels continue on the North Africa, where he releases his multitude of larger than life butterflies in the souk at Tunis.
The final stop on the tour is Venice and the piazza San Marco (an old haunt for the Butterfly Man), where an appreciative crowd have gathered to welcome him back to La Serenissima.