Damien Hirst (b. 1965)
Damien Hirst is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs). Hirst dominated the art scene in Britain during the 1990's and is internationally known for his animals (often bifurcated) in formaldehyde filled vitrines. These arresting images have made him the symbol of Britart and one of the world's most expensive living artists.
Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol. He grew up in Leeds before graduating with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College in London where he was the dominant figure of a generation of British artists emanating originally from Goldsmiths College.
In 1995 he won the Turner Prize and in 1997 took part in the Sensations exhibition at the Royal Academy. Shortly after these two events, his reputation and influence in the artworld were solidified. In 2008, Hirst was bestowed the title of most powerful person in the artworld in Art Review's annual Power 100 List.
Hirst has always presented himself as an entrepreneur, artist and celebrity. Most recently, Hirst's September 2008 sale at Sotheby's in London, entitled Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, grossed £111 million and broke every rule in the book. Hirst subverted his dealers and went straight to the auction room putting on an exhibition rivaling any museum retrospective. The sale coincided with the collapse of two international banking giants, signaling the beginning of the credit crunch, but the sale was unaffected by the events and cemented the power and influence of the Hirst brand.
As an artist, Hirst works in a variety of mediums including installation, sculpture, painting and printed work. The works on paper presented here represent a range of subjects that deal with the quintessentially Hirst themes of mortality, decay, nature and humanity.