Born in Bristol in 1965, Damien Hirst’s work across multiple genres, mediums and materials have positioned him one of Britain’s leading contemporary artists today. Hirst studied under Michael Craig-Martin at Goldsmiths College, London, before achieving notoriety as one of the prominent Young British Artists (YBAs).
The YBAs shared a combination of entrepreneurial and oppositional attitudes, incorporating found materials and aspiring to generate shock. Themes of life and death are consistent throughout Hirst’s practice, and his jarring multi-media works are often wildly conflicting: at once grotesque and beautiful, unusual and ordinary, calming and unnerving.
In 2012, Tate Modern recognised his contributions to art with a major retrospective, and in 2017, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana welcomed a series of monumental, fantastical sculptures in his exhibition Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable. Hirst’s ambitious, captivating work continues to defy the boundaries of genre and medium, and can be found in many major collections, including his very own Newport Street Gallery, which he opened in 2015.