How were the ‘Paper Blossoms’ made?

Arranged side-by-side across long tables in his studio, Hirst worked on several ‘Paper Blossoms’ at a time, moving up and down the tables as he built up layers of thick, tactile paint. This process recalls the creation of his monumental Cherry Blossoms paintings: ‘I was getting lost in painting and wanted viewers to get lost in my paintings’.  

What results from this energetic practice are glimpses of the cherry blossom trees, views of their sprawling branches and gravity-defying blossoms. This intentional and careful use of framing to create more intimate experiences for viewers has long been part of Hirst’s practice, stretching back to his infamous formaldehyde sculptures. As the artist said, ‘I just want it to be in your face. I want you to feel like you’re too close to it, you know. All the work I’ve made — you know, the sharks, everything, all that sort of stuff — I want it to be aggressive and in your face. I want you to have a physical reaction to it.’