Object Timeline


  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Sidewall, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, 2008

This is a sidewall. It was designed by Damien Hirst. It is dated 2008 and we acquired it in 2017. Its medium is machine-printed paper. It is a part of the Wallcoverings department.

Damien Hirst's "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" wallpaper contains a dense pattern of brightly colored flowers with a grid of smashed cigarette butts printed on top. The design plays on the contrasting themes of beauty and trash, or life and death, as Hirst equates littered ashtrays with death. This is a wonderful example of Hirst’s work, combining disparate elements while dispelling the common associations of wallpaper as beautiful and inviting.

Hirst has designed nine wallpapers with this being his only floral pattern. The wallpapers are based on his previous artworks with other designs composed of beetles, butterflies, and pharmaceuticals. "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever" uses images from his 2008 work “The Abyss”, where he lined up hundreds, if not thousands, of smashed cigarette butts and ash in mirror-backed medical display cabinets. Cigarettes are a recurring theme in Hirst’s work. In 1996 he created “Crematorium”, a large eight foot diameter ashtray filled with cigarettes, ash, wrappers, and drug paraphernalia. He has also suspended cigarette butts in cubes of resin. In the 1990s he created a glass and steel cell containing a white table and black chair. On the table are a pack of cigarettes, a lighter, and an ashtray filled with cigarette butts.

This full roll of wallpaper is an unexpected interpretation of a floral wallpaper, and its addition would embellish the group of floral designs in the collection, by far the largest grouping. It would benefit the collection of wallpaper by renowned and contemporary artists, as well as the group by British designers. Wallpapers by contemporary artists are on the department wishlist.

It is credited Gift of Vivian Haime Barg.

Its dimensions are

L x W: 1000 × 52.5 cm (32 ft. 9 11/16 in. × 20 11/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Sidewall, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, 2008; Designed by Damien Hirst (British, b. 1965); machine-printed paper; L x W: 1000 × 52.5 cm (32 ft. 9 11/16 in. × 20 11/16 in.); Gift of Vivian Haime Barg; 2017-36-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Virtue in Vice.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

For higher resolution or commercial use contact ArtResource.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/1108955851/ |title=Sidewall, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, 2008 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=1 July 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>