Damien Hirst, born in 1965, is one of the world’s most famous living contemporary artists. From 1986 to 1989 Damien Hirst studied at Goldsmith’s College in London. Hirst belongs to the group of Young British Artists (YBA) and his breakthrough came in 1988 during an exhibition called Freeze – in an empty London Port area. He is one of the greatest 20th century’s provocateurs, as well as a polarizing figure in recent art history.
Hirst explores the theme of Death in his works. “I am aware of the moral contradictions in all, like “I’m going to die and I want to live forever. I can not escape the fact, and I can not let go of the desire”. “
Hirst became worldwide famous through his pieces with animals in an aquarium preserved in formaldehyde such as the installation of the Shark (1991) “The Physical Impossibility Of Death In The Mind Of Someone Living “. The Shark looks incredibly real because it’s just a real shark that seems to float in water. With its open jaws and razor sharp teeth restriction seems a direct threat to the life of the viewer also directly a confrontation with the mortality of this viewer. This work was sold in 2004 for over € 9.3 million. Few years later, in 2007, Hirst’s work “Lullaby Spring” was sold and this time for € 14.5 million at Sotheby’s auction. At that time this was the most expensive auctioned artwork ever by a living artist.
Damien Hirst’s work is an extreme and excessive form of art in this century. Morality, life, faith, medicine, religion, wealth and aesthetics comprise the principal themes and subject matter of Hirst’s paintings, sculptures and installations.
Perhaps the most famous work of Damien Hirst is For the Love of God (2007), a platinum cast of a skull of a 18th century European, studded with 8601 diamonds, of which one pink diamond of 52.4carats. The artwork For the Love of God has a value of around 75 mln Euro according to British media.