Spring Blossoms Blooming von Damien Hirst aus der Cherry Blossoms Serie in "The Weight of Things" Ausstellung im MUCA München
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023

from the "Cherry Blossoms" series

Damien Hirst - The Weight of Things

Hirst's "Spring Blossoms Blooming" from 2019 can be seen in the "The Weight of Things" exhibition in the MUCA Halls from October 2023. For the "Cherry Blossoms" series, Hirst combines thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting and reinterprets the traditional flower theme with irony.

The "Cherry Blossoms" series by Damien Hirst comprises a total of 107 large-format canvases. With this series, Hirst reinterprets the traditional and popular theme of flower depiction with cheerful irony.

"The cherry blossoms symbolise beauty, life and death. They are extreme - they almost have something kitschy about them. [...] They are decorative, but taken from nature. They're about desire and how we process the things around us and what we turn them into, but also about the crazy visual transience of beauty - a tree in full crazy bloom against a clear sky. It was so nice to make them, to lose myself completely in colour and painting in my studio. They're jarring and messy and fragile and show that I'm moving away from minimalism and the idea of an imaginary mechanical painter and that's so exciting for me."

In "Cherry Blossoms", Hirst combines thick brushstrokes and elements of gestural painting and thus refers to Impressionism as well as Pointillism, but also Action Painting. "Cherry Blossoms" is both a homage to the great artistic movements of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and a continuation of the painterly explorations that Hirst has undertaken since the beginning of his career. Hirst worked on the "Cherry Blossoms" series for a total of three years from 2018.

The inspiration for "Cherry Blossoms" came to Hirst from his previous series "Veil Paintings", which is partly influenced by the post-impressionist paintings of Pierre Bonnard and abstract expressionism. He saw trees or gardens in some of the works. "I wondered if I could paint trees, but then thought that was too daft," says Hirst. So he looked for a way to depict trees abstractly and figuratively at the same time. The idea of cherry blossoms came from a childhood memory: as a child, his mother painted these blossoms at home with oil paints, which he was not allowed to use as a small child, but which have always fascinated him ever since.

When he began working on the series, Hirst initially only used the colours he had seen in photos of cherry blossoms: pink and white. However, the flowers looked dead to him in the painted works. Looking at trees on a walk made him rethink his method: "We also see other colours through the light and reflections. He used red, yellow and orange tones and other colours to bring the pictures to life.


"I want to be aggressive and in your face. I want you to have a physical reaction," says Hirst about his works and what drives him. In Cherry Blossoms, he achieves this through the dimensions of his pictures. Viewers should "fall into the blossoms" and feel close to them.

Immerse yourself in "SPRING BLOSSOMS BLOOMING" at the MUCA!