Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths college from 1986 to 1989. Whilst in his second year, he conceived and curated a group exhibition entitled ‘Freeze’. The show is commonly acknowledged to have been the launching point not only for Hirst, but for a generation of British artists.
Since the late 1980s, Hirst has used a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death, explaining: “Art’s about life and it can’t really be about anything else … there isn’t anything else.” Through work that includes the iconic shark in formaldehyde, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991) and For the Love of God (2007), a platinum cast of a skull set with 8,601 flawless pavé-set diamonds, he investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the uncertainties at the heart of human experience. Hirst lives and works in Gloucester, Devon and London.
Since 1987, over 80 solo Damien Hirst exhibitions have taken place worldwide and his work has been included in over 260 group shows. Hirst’s solo exhibitions include Qatar Museums Authority, ALRIWAQ Doha (2013-2014), Tate Modern, London (2012); Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010); Oceanographic Museum, Monaco (2010); The Wallace Collection, London (2009-10); Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2009); Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008); Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005); Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004). He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995.