contemporary art

Damien Hirst

The British painter and sculptor Damien Hirst is one of the greatest stars of contemporary art. His provocative works fetch the highest prices on the art market, so he is famous and successful. The most eye-catching works of this man are a diamond-studded skull and a tiger shark inlaid in formaldehyde. Besides his own art projects, Hirst works as a curator of exhibitions and conceptual artists. He is the best-known representative of the Young British Artists. The provocative sculptures of this British artist deal with the themes of life and death, as well as, religion and consumer culture.

Life, Death, and Religion

Damien Hirst was born in Bristol but grew up in Leeds. From 1986 to 1989 he attended the Fine Arts course at Goldsmiths College in London. That suited his artistic direction very well. After the studies, the young artist did not want to commit himself to one direction such as painting or sculpture only. Hirst grew up with his strictly religious mother, so he quickly came into contact with saints. However, he was interested in the torture scenes provided by the religious stories. He became known for his exhibition called “Freeze” held in 1989. Hirst kept following his path but also made pop music videos including Country House of the Britpop stars Blur. His project of tiger shark presented in formaldehyde was made in 1991 and it gave a star on the British art scene title to this young man. The project was called the Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, and the key idea was to provoke people to think about the issues of life and death.

For The Love Of God

Another well-known work of Hirst was made in 2007. He presented his new project at the White Cupe in London, and this work was called For the Love of God. It was a platinum cast of a skull encrusted with 8601 diamonds of 52-carat. Less than three months later, a group of art lovers bought it for a total amount of £50 million. It is still considered as the most expensive work of contemporary art. The template allegedly comes from an approximately 35-year-old European who had lived in the 18th century. Hirst acquired the skull in a shop in the district of Islington, London.

The exhibition was accompanied by massive security measures to see the work only in a darkened room. A few days after the spectacular sale, the gallery spokeswoman announced that Damien Hirst was part of the group of buyers who had bought the skull for the record amount. His work got further promotion. Hirst started a marketing campaign and launched numerous merchandising products such as T-shirts, posters, and documentation. There is no surprise that Hirst is considered a marketing guru and he knows how to bring his art to the people in a profitable way. In 1995, Damien Hirst was awarded by the Turner Prize at the Venice Biennale, and in the same year, he received the Prix Eliette from Karajan. Hirst is also a member of the human rights organization Survival International and has established a foundation to support young musicians