Damien HIRST


Damien Hirst was born in Bristol, England.

While still a student at Goldsmith's College in 1988, he curated the now renowned student exhibition ‘Freeze’ held in East London. In this exhibition, Hirst brought together a group of young artists who would come to define cutting-edge contemporary art in the 1990s and later get known as the Young British Artists (YBAs). In 1991, Hirst had his first solo exhibition at the Woodstock Street Gallery, entitled ‘In and Out of Love’ in which he filled the gallery with hundreds of live tropical butterflies, some of which hatched from the monochrome canvases that hung the walls. In 1992, he was part of the groundbreaking Young British Artists exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery. In this show, he exhibited his now famous ‘Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’: a dead tiger shark preserved in a glass tank of formaldehyde.

The same year he was nominated for the prestigious Tate Gallery Turner Prize, a coveted award he was finally awarded in 1995. For the most part, Hirst’s paintings have taken on two forms. One is an arrangement of colour spots with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals, known as ‘Spot’ paintings. The second, his ‘Spin’ paintings, are created by centrifugal force, when Hirst places his canvas on a spinning plate and pours the paint as they spin. In the medicine cabinet pieces Hirst redefines sculpture with his arrangements of various drugs, surgical tools, and medical supplies. Finally, his tank pieces, containing dead animals preserved in formaldehyde, are sculptures that directly address the inevitable mortality of all living beings. All of Hirst's works contain an ironic wit and also question the role of art in contemporary culture.

In October 2015, Hirst opened his own art space the Newport Street Gallery in London, where he exhibits his own work as well as his personal art collection and favourite artists.


Damien Hirst, LSD, 2000
Damien Hirst, Beautiful, Galactic, exploding screenprint
Damien Hirst, Circle spin painting, 2009
Damien Hirst, Rocket spin painting, 2009
Damien Hirst, Skull spin painting, 2009
Damien Hirst, Skull spin painting, 2009
Damien Hirst, Star spin painting, 2009
Damien Hirst, Untitled (Star Spin Painting), 2011
Damien Hirst, Heart spin painting, 2009