Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, in full Damien Steven Hirst, was born June 7, 1965 in Bristol, England. After his parents separated when he was 12, he was raised by his mother. In his teenage he became rebellious and was arrested twice for shoplifting. Hirst was not a strong student, however he showed promise in art, and eventually decided to study at university. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hirst took a keen interest in the punk music and social scene that was taking hold within British culture. In this period Hirst was gravitating toward its rejection of tradition and confrontational, gritty subject matter.

Damien Hirst first came to public attention in London in 1988. Hirst was the main organiser of an independent exhibition "Freeze," in a disused London Port Authority administrative block in London’s Docklands. Nearly 25 years since his first exhibition (which would define Young British Artists), Hirst has become one of the most influential artists of his generation. His groundbreaking works include The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark in formaldehyde; Mother and Child Divided (1993) a four-part sculpture of a bisected cow and calf; and For the Love of God (2007), a human skull studded with 8,601 diamonds. In addition to his installations and sculptures, Hirst’s Spot paintings and Butterfly paintingshave become universally recognized.

In his relentlessly enterprising, unapologetically commercial approach to art, Hirst's career is closely aligned with that of fellow art star Jeff Koons, who has cited him as an influence.

View our collection of Damien Hirst art here.

Damien Hirst painting