70 Facts About Damien Hirst


Damien Steven Hirst is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art collector.


Damien Hirst is one of the Young British Artists who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.


Damien Hirst is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth estimated at US$384 million in the 2020 Sunday Times Rich List.


Damien Hirst became famous for a series of artworks in which dead animals are preserved, sometimes having been dissected, in formaldehyde.


Damien Hirst has made "spin paintings", created on a spinning circular surface, and "spot paintings", which are rows of randomly coloured circles created by his assistants.


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.


Since 1999, Damien Hirst's works have been challenged and contested as plagiarised 16 times.


Damien Hirst never met his father; his mother married his stepfather when Hirst was two, and the couple divorced 10 years later.


Damien Hirst's mother stated that she lost control of her son when he was young, as he was notably arrested on two occasions for shoplifting.


Damien Hirst says, "If she didn't like how I was dressed, she would quickly take me away from the bus stop".


Damien Hirst did, though, encourage his liking for drawing, which was his only successful educational subject.


Damien Hirst was refused admission to Jacob Kramer College when he first applied, but attended the art school after a subsequent successful application to the Foundation Diploma course.


Damien Hirst went to an exhibition of work by Francis Davison, staged by Julian Spalding at the Hayward Gallery in 1983.


Davison created abstract collages from torn and cut coloured paper which, Damien Hirst said, "blew me away", and which he modelled his own work on for the next two years.


Damien Hirst worked for two years on London building sites, then studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, although again he was refused a place the first time he applied.


In July 1988, in his second year at Goldsmiths College, Damien Hirst was the main organiser of an independent student exhibition, Freeze, in a disused London Port Authority administrative block in London's Docklands.


Damien Hirst gained sponsorship for this event from the London Docklands Development Corporation.


In 1991 Damien Hirst met the up-and-coming art dealer, Jay Jopling, who then represented him.


In 1991, Charles Saatchi had offered to fund whatever artwork Damien Hirst wanted to make, and the result was showcased in 1992 in the first Young British Artists exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in North London.


Damien Hirst curated the show Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away in 1994 at the Serpentine Gallery in London, where he exhibited Away from the Flock.


Damien Hirst was prosecuted, at Hirst's wish, and was given two years' probation.


Damien Hirst directed the video for the song "Country House" for the band Blur.


Damien Hirst painted a simple colour pattern for the Beagle 2 probe.


Damien Hirst turned down the British Council's invitation to be the UK's representative at the 1999 Venice Biennale because "it didn't feel right".


Damien Hirst threatened to sue British Airways claiming a breach of copyright over an advert design with coloured spots for its low budget airline, Go.


Damien Hirst was then sued himself for breach of copyright over this sculpture.


Damien Hirst sold three more copies of his sculpture for similar amounts to the first.


In 2002, Damien Hirst gave up smoking and drinking after his wife Maia had complained and "had to move out because I was so horrible".


Damien Hirst had met Joe Strummer at Glastonbury in 1995, becoming good friends and going on annual family holidays with him.


Damien Hirst subsequently devoted a lot of time to founding a charity, Strummerville, to help young musicians.


Damien Hirst disassociated himself from the retrospective to the extent of not including it in his CV.


Damien Hirst was angry that a Mini car that he had decorated for charity with his trademark spots was being exhibited as a serious artwork.


Damien Hirst designed a cover image for the Band Aid 20 charity single featuring the "Grim Reaper" in late 2004, and image showing an African child perched on his knee.


Damien Hirst exhibited 30 paintings at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in March 2005.


Also in 2005, Damien Hirst founded the art book publisher Other Criteria.


In February 2006, he opened a major show in Mexico, at the Hilario Galguera Gallery, called The Death of God, Towards a Better Understanding of Life without God aboard The Ship of Fools, an exhibition that attracted considerable media coverage as Damien Hirst's first show in Latin America.


In December 2008, Damien Hirst contacted the Design and Artists Copyright Society demanding action be taken over works containing images of his skull sculpture For the Love of God made by a 16-year-old graffiti artist, Cartrain, and sold on the internet gallery 100artworks.


In October 2009, Damien Hirst revealed that he had been painting with his own hand in a style influenced by Francis Bacon for several years.


Damien Hirst's show of these paintings, No Love Lost, was at the Wallace Collection in London.


In 2011, Damien Hirst designed the cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers album I'm with You.


Damien Hirst says that the formaldehyde surrounding the shark is the process of death and decay.


Damien Hirst eventually defended the concept and refuted the accusation that he was only interested in making money.


In November 2006, Damien Hirst was curator of In the darkest hour there may be light, shown at the Serpentine Gallery, London, the first public exhibition of his own collection.


Damien Hirst is currently restoring the Grade I listed Toddington Manor, near Cheltenham, where he intends to eventually house the complete collection.


In 2010, Damien Hirst was among the unsuccessful bidders to take over the Magazine Building, a 19th-century structure in Kensington Gardens, which reopened in 2013 as the Serpentine Sackler Gallery after its conversion by Zaha Hadid.


Damien Hirst was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1992, for his first Young British Artists exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in North London, which included his The Physical Impossibility of Death.


Damien Hirst was asked to represent the UK in the Venice Biennale in 1999 or to become a Royal Academian but refused.


In 2012, Damien Hirst was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his album cover for the Beatles' Sgt.


Every artist other than Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst will be a footnote.


Damien Hirst was among the names in Blake Gopnik's 2011 list "The 10 Most Important Artists of Today", with Gopnik interpreting Damien Hirst's career as "a metaphor for how consumption has become our guiding force".


The Stuckist art group was founded in 1999 with a specific anti-Britart agenda by Charles Thomson and Billy Childish; Damien Hirst is one of their main targets.


Damien Hirst's 2009 show, No Love Lost, of paintings by his own hand, at the Wallace Collection in London, received "one of the most unanimously negative responses to any exhibition in living memory".


Damien Hirst's work has been a frequent subject of criticism in the tabloid press.


Damien Hirst paid an undisclosed sum to two charities, Children Nationwide and the Toy Trust, in an out-of-court settlement, as well as a "good will payment" to Emms.


Damien Hirst agreed to restrictions on further reproductions of his sculpture.


In May 2017 Damien Hirst was accused of copying and appropriating Yoruba art from Ile-Ife in his work Golden Heads, which is on display in his exhibition "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at the Venice Biennale.


Damien Hirst sees the real creative act as being the conception, not the execution, and that, as the progenitor of the idea, he is therefore the artist:.


Damien Hirst is known to volunteer repair work on his projects after a client has made a purchase.


Damien Hirst had a short-lived partnership with chef Marco Pierre White in the restaurant "Quo Vadis".


Damien Hirst is a co-owner of the seafood restaurant, 11 The Quay, in the English seaside town of Ilfracombe.


In 2016, Damien Hirst designed the interiors of his new restaurant Pharmacy 2 at the Newport Street Gallery in Vauxhall, London.


Art by Damien Hirst sold at his auction in 2008, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, raised US$198 million It is said to be the largest amount raised by any living artist to date.


Damien Hirst is reputed to be the richest living artist to date.


Between 1992 and 2012, Damien Hirst lived with his American girlfriend, Maia Norman, with whom he has three sons, born 1995,2000 and 2005.


Since becoming a father, Damien Hirst has spent most of his time at his remote farmhouse near Combe Martin in Devon.


Damien Hirst is a friend of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood and 7-time World Snooker Champion Ronnie O'Sullivan.


Damien Hirst is a supporter of the indigenous rights organisation, Survival International.


In September 2008, Damien Hirst donated the work, Beautiful Love Survival, at the Sotheby's London sale, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, to raise money for this organisation.


Damien Hirst instructed those who bought pieces from his latest collection to choose either the physical artwork or the NFT representing it.


Damien Hirst streamed the burning of his physical pieces on Instagram live from his London gallery and is set to burn thousands more of his artwork to complete the transformation of the selected artworks so they can exist solely as NFTs.