Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He studied at Goldsmiths College in London
and first came to public attention in 1988 when he conceived and curated
“Freeze,” an exhibition of his work and that of his friends and fellow students
at Goldsmiths. In the near quarter century since that pivotal show, Hirst has
become one of the most prominent artists of his generation. Many of his works
are widely recognized, from the shark suspended in formaldehyde, The Physical
Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living(1991) and his spot, spin
and butterfly paintings, through to later works such as the diamond skull For
the Love of God(2007). Of the latter, the art historian Rudi Fuchs has said,
“The skull is out of this world, celestial almost. At the same time it
represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the
tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.”

Throughout his work, Hirst takes a direct and challenging approach to ideas
about existence. His work calls into question our awareness and convictions
about the boundaries that separate desire and fear, life and death, reason and
faith, love and hate. Hirst uses the tools and iconography of science and
religion, creating sculptures and paintings whose beauty and intensity offer
the viewer insight into art that transcends our familiar understanding of those
domains. “There [are] four important things in life: religion, love, art and
science,” the artist has said. “At their best, they’re all just tools to help
you find a path through the darkness. None of them really work that well, but
they help. Of them all, science seems to be the one right now. Like religion,
it provides the glimmer of hope that maybe it will be all right in the end…”



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