‘The counterpoint to Hirst’s famed butterfly paintings, the fly paintings are the darkly morose pictures, embodying the central themes of Hirst’s work of simultaneously exposing the beauty and horror of life and its inevitable conclusion in death. Created by gluing thousands of flies’ bodies onto a canvas, the origins of Damien Hirst’s fly paintings relate back to Hirst’s seminal 1990 work ‘A thousand Years’, which charted the life cycle of flies contained within a glass vitrine. In using flies, Hirst found a vehicle in which to delve into his ‘exploration into the deep profundities of life and death’
(D. Hirst, I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever,
Now, London 2005, p.32).