Arguably one the most successful and well-known artist in the world to date, Damien Hirst is a creative visionary, his brand as prolific as his artwork.
Born in Bristol in 1965, Hirst emerged as a leading ‘enfant terrible’ in the Young British Artists (the YBAs) movement in the late 1980s and 1990’s. His artworks, which include dissected dead animals – see Mother and Child (Divided) – butterfly and spot prints, and spin-art paintings; explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. As he explains: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.”
With the aim of transcending our understanding of science and religion, Hirst uses the tools and iconography of both to create his beautiful and challenging paintings and sculptures. His most prominent artworks include the shark suspended in formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and his iconic diamond Skull For the Love of God (2007).
Although criticised by many artists and journalists for mass-producing his work with posters and prints, Hirst originals and limited edition prints demonstrate the originality of his art and the significance of the Damien Hirst brand on the art world – and how it being accessible to everyone is a big part of that brand and its influence.