b. 1965, United Kingdom

Damien Hirst Biography

In his irreverent, thought-provoking, and compelling artworks encompassing installation, sculpture, painting, and drawing, Damien Hirst examines the complexities of art, religion, science, and human life.

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Education and YBAs

Damien Hirst graduated with a BA from Goldsmiths College, London, in 1989. He quickly rose to prominence for his innovative and even controversial artworks, winning the Turner Prize in 1995. The centerpiece of his Turner Prize exhibition was Mother and Child (1993), in which bisected bodies of a cow and calf appeared preserved in formaldehyde solution.

Hirst is also one of the Young British Artists, a loose group of rebellious young artists who began exhibiting together in 1998. Titled Freeze, the inaugural YBA exhibition was led by Hirst and presented in an empty building in London. Many of the YBAs, among them Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Chris Ofili, and Gillian Wearing, are now internationally-recognised artists.

Death as Theme

Many of Hirst's works revolve around the central theme of death, compelling the viewer to confront their own fears of mortality. Among his most notable works are The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), a shark suspended in a vitrine filled with formaldehyde in, and For the Love of God (2007), a human skull completely encrusted in diamonds.

Disrupting the Art World

Hirst is also recognised as a disruptive player in the art world. This has involved consigning his own works to an auction house for a one-vendor sale and co-founding the art-based publishing company Other Criteria, which sells his own editions and multiples. In 2015, Hirst opened his own art gallery, Newpoort Street Gallery, in London.


The first retrospective of Hirst's work, The Agony and the Ecstasy, took place at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples, in 2004. A later retrospective at the Tate Modern in 2012 recognized Hirst's contributions to British art over the last three decades.

Selected solo exhibitions include Mental Escapology, presented across five venues in St Moritz (2021); End of a Century, Newport Street Gallery, London (2020); Mandalas, White Cube Mason's Yard (2019); Visual Candy and Natural History, Gagosian, Hong Kong (2017); Damien Hirst: The Last Supper, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2016); Damien Hirst, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2015).

Selected group exhibitions include Icons: Worship and Adoration, Kunsthalle Bremen (2019); Objects of Wonder: From Pedestal to Interaction, ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum (2019); Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (2019); Sculpture on the Move 1946—2016, Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland (2016); All You Need is LOVE: From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsune Miku, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2013); Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012).

Ocula | 2021

Damien Hirst Featured Artworks

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Dead Woman by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork sculpture
Damien Hirst Dead Woman, 2012 Black Marquina marble
81.5 x 235 x 114 cm
White Cube Contact Gallery
Neutral Sky by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork painting
Damien Hirst Neutral Sky, 2016 Household gloss on canvas
139.7 x 299.7 cm
White Cube Contact Gallery
For The Love of God by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork print
Damien Hirst For The Love of God, 2011 Screenprint in colours with diamond dust
108 x 82 cm
Maddox Gallery Contact Gallery
Beautiful Muruga paranoia intense painting (with extra inner beauty) by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork painting
Damien Hirst Beautiful Muruga paranoia intense painting (with extra inner beauty), 2008 Household gloss on canvas
152.4 x 152.4 cm
Gary Tatintsian Gallery Contact Gallery
Pentoxifylline by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork painting
Damien Hirst Pentoxifylline, 2012 Household gloss on canvas
53 x 55 cm
Cardi Gallery Contact Gallery
Satellite by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork sculpture
Damien Hirst Satellite, 1989–2010 Glass, faced particleboard, ramin, plastic, aluminium and pharmaceutical packaging
137 x 102 x 23 cm
Sprüth Magers Enquire
Fear by Damien Hirst contemporary artwork sculpture
Damien Hirst Fear, 1994 Glass, stainless steel and surgical instruments
180 x 90 x 36 cm
White Cube Contact Gallery

Damien Hirst Current Exhibitions

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Damien Hirst Represented By

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Gagosian contemporary art gallery in 980 Madison Avenue, New York, USA Gagosian Athens, Basel, Beverly Hills, Geneva, Hong Kong, Le Bourget, London, New York, Paris, Rome, San Francisco
Maddox Gallery contemporary art gallery in Maddox Street, London, United Kingdom Maddox Gallery Gstaad, London, Los Angeles
Paragon contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Paragon London
Robilant+Voena contemporary art gallery in London, United Kingdom Robilant+Voena London, Milan, New York, Paris

Damien Hirst In Ocula Magazine

Damien Hirst In Related Press

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Damien Hirst In Video & Audio

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