English painter, sculptor and installation artist, Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He first came to public attention in 1988, during his second year at Goldsmiths when he conceived and curated "Freeze," an exhibition of his own work and that of his contemporaries at Goldsmiths college, staged in a disused London warehouse. Since this time Hirst has become widely recognised as one of the most influential artists of his generation. The independent student exhibit "Freeze," also launched the careers of the artists later dubbed the “Young British Artists,” (YBA) that aside from Hirst, also included, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume, Tracy Emin and Ian Davenport amongst others.
In 1992 Hirst exhibited what would become his most iconic work – The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – in which he immersed a 14-foot shark in a showcase filled with formaldehyde. The work was part of the first major exhibition of the YBA at the Saatchi Gallery in London. In 1992, Hirst was nominated for the esteemed Tate Gallery Turner Prize; although it was awarded to Grenville Davey, Hirst later won the award in 1995. Through a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing Hirst has sought to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Alongside over 80 solo exhibitions he has worked on numerous curatorial projects. In 2008, Hirst took the unprecedented step of bypassing gallery involvement in selling 244 new works at a Sotheby’s, London auction entitled ‘Beautiful Inside My Head Forever’.
Hirst's awards and his contribution to British art over the last two and a half decades has been acknowledged in a major solo retrospective exhibited at the Tate Modern, London. He is most well-known for his ‘Natural History’ glass tank installations, including The Impossibility of Death (1992) and Mother and Child Divided (1993); the Pharmacy Series, including medicine cabinet sculptures and imaginary drug labels; Spot Paintings, meticulously placed colored dots with titles that refer to pharmaceutical chemicals, and Spin Paintings, works created by centrifugal force by steadily poured paint onto a spinning canvas. Hirst lives in Devon and has studios in Gloucester and London.