For the Love of God is a life-size platinum cast of an eighteenth century human skull, covered by 8,601 flawless diamonds, inset with the original skull’s teeth. At the front of the cranium is a 52.4 carat pink diamond. Since it was first exhibited in 2007, For the Love of God has become one of the most widely recognised works of contemporary art. It represents the artist’s continued interest in mortality and notions of value.
Alluding to the iconography of the skull in art as a memento mori – a reminder of the fragility of life – the work can be viewed alternatively as a glorious, devotional, defiant or provocative gesture in the face of death itself.