b. 1965
  • European
Turnover 2023
$USD 34.992.829
Record Sale
$USD 17.119.160
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Damien Hirst emerged as a leading figure in the Young British Artists (YBA) movement in the 1990s and gained international fame for his innovative approach to art and his ability to generate both critical acclaim and commercial success. Hirst was born in Bristol, England. He showed an early interest in art and studied at the Jacob Kramer College in Leeds and later at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he became a prominent member of the YBA group. During his time at Goldsmiths, he organized the groundbreaking exhibition “Freeze” in 1988, which showcased the work of him and his fellow students.

This exhibition marked the beginning of the YBA movement, which aimed to challenge traditional notions of art and exhibit conceptual and experimental works. One of Hirst’s most famous series of artworks is the “Natural History” series, which includes pieces like “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” (1991). This work featured a preserved tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde, sparking debates about the boundaries between art and science, life and death. Another iconic series is the “Spot Paintings,” consisting of numerous canvases covered in uniform colored spots. Hirst’s work often explores themes of mortality, beauty, consumerism, and the fragility of life. He frequently uses a wide range of materials, including animals preserved in formaldehyde, medicine cabinets filled with pharmaceuticals, butterflies, and even diamond-encrusted skulls.

Hirst’s art often generates controversy due to its audacious themes and presentation. Critics have questioned whether his work is more about shock value than artistic depth, while others praise his ability to provoke conversations about the nature of art and society. Beyond his artistic creations, Hirst is known for his involvement in the business side of the art world. In 2008, he bypassed traditional gallery representation by auctioning his work directly at Sotheby’s in a sale titled “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever.” The sale garnered substantial attention and was seen as a bold move in the art market. Hirst’s career has been marked by immense financial success, making him one of the wealthiest artists in the world. However, his work continues to spark debates about the nature and purpose of contemporary art. It’s important to note that my knowledge is based on information available up until September 2021, and there may have been further developments in Damien Hirst’s life and career since then.


Record Sale

Damien HIRST (1965)
Lullaby Spring (2002)

Mixed media sculpture (steel, glass cabinet, painted cast pills)
182 x 274 x 10 cm

London, United Kingdom
Contemporary Art, 21 jun 2007

Lot # 36
Hammer price: $ 17,119,160
Price including buyer’s premium: $ 19,213,271
Estimate: $ 5,971,800 – $ 7,962,400

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