Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is a member of the Young British Artists, a very influential group of artists in Britain, and is considered the most wealthy living artist in Britain.  It is said that he prefers to sell art directly to the public and forego galleries.  One of his auctions raised $198 million for only 218 art pieces. His field of expertise is in installation art, making displays and incorporating them into a given area.  His works are more scientific than artistic, displaying dead animals preserved in formaldehyde.  His most famous and my personal favorite is “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”, which is a tiger shark preserved in a display case.  While the title doesn’t really have anything to do with the display itself, it can still be applied to psychology.  For a living person, no matter how much they think about death, they can never truly experience it or understand it until they are dead, which is in itself also a physical impossibility because logically dead people don’t think.  I find the general meaning behind it interesting and very thoughtful, but would still consider it more a science project than art.  Interestingly enough, Hirst tried his luck at painting and received “the most negative response from the general public in all of Britain.”

Here is his website: http://www.damienhirst.com

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