Damien Hirst (1965)
Born in Bristol in 1965, Damien Hirst spent his childhood years and adolescence in Leeds. Damien Hirst moved to London in 1984, where he studied art at Goldsmiths College (1986-1989). He made his first sculptures, paintings and installations, among them the acknowledged Medicine Cabinets, which were inspired by Minimalism. The exhibition Freeze, which the student Damien Hirst set up as curator in 1988, would become the founding exhibition of the Young British Artists.
Death and transience are leitmotifs of Damien Hirst's art, executed in a mixture of shock effect, cool aesthetics and symbolic depth. He had been attracted by this theme for a long time: As a teenager he would often visit the department of anatomy at Leeds Medical School, where he made sketches and drawings. In 1991 Damien Hirst began working on the series Natural History: Animal cadavers, preserved in minimalist tanks filled with formalin. The conserved shark (The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living) became the icon of the Young British Artists. He made his probably most famous work in 2007: For the Love of God is the title of the diamond-plated platinum cast of a human skull—a work not only of an outstanding artistic value, but also of a material one. His paintings are also highly treasured among collectors, for instance the Spot-Paintings have become status symbols. Awarded the renowned Turner Prize in 1995, Damien Hirst doubtlessly counts among today's most popular international artists. 1997 he had the one-man exhibition A Beautiful Afterlife at Galerie Bruno Bischofberger. After more than 80 solo shows, a grand retrospective at Tate Modern in London in 2012 attracted a wide audience. By the way a museum, in which, Damien Hirst told David Bowie once, he «had never wanted to exhibit in.»
Damien Hirst lives in Devon where he has a large studio, just as in Gloucester and London.