Damien Hirst (1965)
British artist, born in 1965 in Bristol. A controversial and highly publicised artist, Hirst creates installations that confront the viewer with the relationship between art, life and death.
He moved to London in 1984 and worked in construction before embarking on a degree in fine art at Goldsmiths College from 1986 to 1989.
From the 1980s onwards, he worked as a sculptor and curator, marking the birth of the Young British Artists movement.
In 1988, while still a student, Damien Hirst organised the students' exhibition. This exhibition, entitled Freeze, was seen as a springboard for Hirst and a whole generation of British artists such as Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Rachel Whiteread, Sarah Lucas...
In 1991, he had his first solo exhibition at the Woodstock Street Gallery. In this exhibition, called "In and Out of Love", Damien Hirst filled the gallery with hundreds of live tropical butterflies.
Damien Hirst became known worldwide with his "Natural History" series: a collection of whole or cut-up animals (cows, sheep, sharks, etc.) displayed in huge aquariums filled with formaldehyde. Damien Hirst's sculptures are destined to disappear because the process of putrefaction is not stopped but slowed down. Little by little the colours of his works fade. Damien Hirst then becomes a media icon.
Since the end of the 1980s, Damien Hirst has been developing a singular and daring body of work with a corrosive sense of humour, exploring the complex relationship between art, life and death through a variety of media - installation, painting, sculpture and drawing.
According to him, art is by definition "an expression of life and nothing else... since there is nothing else".
Since 1987, more than 90 exhibitions have been devoted entirely to Damien Hirst throughout the world.
In 1995, Damien Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize, a prize for a British contemporary artist under the age of 50.
Among his most famous works are the series of animals in formaldehyde, including The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and For the Love of God (2007), a platinum cast of a human skull covered in diamonds.
63 x 47 x 22 cm
Clear crystal & 18 carat gold Lost wax Ed.7/20