For the Love of God is possibly the most famous artwork produced in recent decades and is the latest feat of super-artist / necromancer Damien Hirst. The title inspired by his mother’s question “for the love of God what are you going to do next?”, more than 8,500 flawless diamonds are encrusted into a platinum cast of a human skull – a skull thought to be that of a European living between 1720 and 1810. For the Love of God manufacturing costs are estimated at 14 million pounds – the work reportedly sold for a record 50 million pounds in 2007. While also a traditional ‘Memento Mori’ (an object that addresses the transience of human existence) the ostentation of For the Love of God proclaims victory over decay and raises questions of mortality, morality and money.
For the Love of God, Laugh is one of a series of four editioned prints of the diamond skull, however it is the onl;y work which boasts a layer of alluring diamond dust, alluding to the original object. Other works in the series include For the Love of God, Believe; For the Love of God, Pray and For the Love of God, Shine.
Nothing speaks more clearly of consumerism than the dollar sign itself. Warhol began painting bank notes in the early 1960s and returned to the theme in the early 1980s, a time by which he felt paintings themselves had become a consumer items. Replacing the sign for art with the sign for money, his dollar sign series are considered to be as important as his Campbell’s Soup series in his reinvention of what could be considered art.
Dollar Sign is a signature work in the extreme, the signature for cash, for art, and for Warhol himself.