'In the spot paintings the grid-like structure creates the beginning of a system...it's a simple system. No matter how I feel as an artist or a painter, the paintings end up looking happy. I can still make all the emotional decisions about colour that I need to as an artist, but in the end they are lost. The end of painting.' (D. Hirst, I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one, always, forever, now., London 1997, p. 246).
Damien Hirst describes his Pharmaceutical Paintings as paintings that feel 'absolutely right'. Begun as an endless series in the early 1990s, his spot paintings are based on a mechanical grid-like system and a scientific approach that enables Hirst to embrace his love of colour independent of outside influences. He has said 'I believe painting and all art should be ultimately uplifting for a viewer'. Both the series and the titles of the individual works, named after individual drugs, refer back to pharmaceutical companies and their scientific approach to life. Hirst has said that 'Art is like medicine - it can heal'. These spot paintings offer an alternate medicine to that offered by the drug companies. While each colour is selected to convey a different emotion, when viewed as a whole, his spot paintings project joy. Hirst has said 'I once said that the spot paintings could be what art looks like viewed through an imaginary microscope. I love the fact that in the paintings the angst is removed.' (Ibid)