Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst, born as Damien Steven Hirst, is a British artist who, in addition to being known for his art, is also an acclaimed art collector and entrepreneur. He is arguably the most notable and well known member of the group known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists. Damien Hirst has an incredibly large fan base; not only is he known and recognized internationally, he is also reportedly the wealthiest and most successful artist in the United Kingdom.

Damien Hirst was born on June 7, 1965 in Bristol, England to humble, working class parents. His father was a mechanic, who walked away from his family when Hirst was only 12 years old. His mother, Mary Brennan, was of a proud Irish Catholic descent, and she worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau. Raising her son as a single mother, Mary Brennan was often quoted as saying that she lost control of her son from a young age. Damien Hirst was regularly getting into some sort of trouble or another, and was even arrested for shoplifting when he was young. However, his mother was not one to stand for shenanigans, and she had her own unique ways of dealing with her son when he acted out. For instance, it is reported that she cut up a pair of pants that Hirst owned that she did not approve of, and she heated up one of his vinyl albums (The Sex Pistols, to be precise) in order to turn it into a fruit bowl. As much as she did not stand for behavior that she did not approve of, she also regularly encouraged habits and practices that she did approve of. She encouraged Damien’s talent and love for drawing, which was the only subject in school in which he was successful.

Damien Hirst Artwork

The works and career of Damien Hirst are vast and expansive. Death is a prominent theme that can be seen throughout many of his pieces. A popular theory on this is that the theme is a direct result of Hirst’s placement in a mortuary when he was still studying as a student.

While in college, Damien Hirst attended an exhibition showcasing works by Francis Davison in 1983, that was staged by Julian Spalding at the Hayward Gallery. Davison was known for his artistic creations making collages of abstract and torn pieces of colored paper. Hirst says that the particular exhibition, and the works of Davison, “blew him away” and he ended up basing and modeling his own works after Davison’s for the next couple of years.

The artwork of Damien Hirst is incredible varied, as he works within various mediums and in different capacities. Some of the categories of his work include:

  • After Beautiful Paintings
  • Ashtray Paintings
  • Ashtrays
  • Billboards
  • Biopsy Paintings
  • Collages
  • Colour Charts
  • Fact Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Installations
  • Instrument Cabinets
  • Gold, Silver, and Bronze
  • Formaldehyde
  • Marble
  • Internal Affairs
  • Medicine Cabinets
  • Diamond Cabinets
  • Pill Cabinets
  • Poison Paintings
  • Spin Paintings
  • Shell Cabinets
  • Remedy Paintings
  • Scalpel Blade Paintings

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