Damien Hirst British, b. 1965
Damien Steven Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is one of the Young British Artists (YBAs) who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He has become an internationally renowned artist who was awarded the prestigious Turner Award 1995, and he is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth estimated at US $384 million in the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List.
Death is a central theme in Hirst's works. 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 colored circles.
In September 2008, Hirst made an unprecedented move for a living artist by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby's by auction and bypassing his long-standing galleries. The auction raised £111 million ($198 million), breaking the record for a one-artist auction 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.