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Damian Hirst

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Damian Hirst

Damien Steven Hirst (/hɜːrst/; born 7 June 1965) is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector.[1] He is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.[2][3] He is reportedly the United Kingdom’s richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.[4][5] During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended.[6]

Death is a central theme in Hirst’s works.[7][8] He became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preserved—sometimes having been dissected—in formaldehyde. The best-known of these was The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a 14-foot (4.3 m) tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde in a clear display case. He has also made “spin paintings”, created on a spinning circular surface, and “spot paintings”, which are rows of randomly coloured circles created by his assistants.

In September 2008, Hirst made an unprecedented move for a living artist[9] by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and bypassing his long-standing galleries.[10] The auction raised £111 million ($198 million), breaking the record for a one-artist auction[11] as well as Hirst’s own record with £10.3 million for The Golden Calf, an animal with 18-carat gold horns and hooves, preserved in formaldehyde.[10]

In several instances since 1999, Hirst’s works have been challenged and contested as plagiarised. In one instance, after his sculpture Hymn was found to be closely based on a child’s toy, legal proceedings led to an out-of-court settlement 3

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