Damien Hirst Signed Prints & Originals

About Damien Hirst

Biography for Damien Hirst

Signed Prints & Originals

 

Damien Steven Hirst ; born 7 June 1965) 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 is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215M in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List. During the 1990s his career was closely linked with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the relationship ended.

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 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. 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.

In several instances since 1999, Hirst's works have been challenged and contested as plagiarised. In one instance, after his sculpture Hymn was found to be closely based on a child's toy, legal proceedings led to an out-of-court settlement. 

Hirst was born Damien Steven Brennan in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. He never met his father, and his mother married his stepfather when he was 2 and divorced 10 years later. His stepfather was reportedly a motor mechanic. Hirst's mother who was from an Irish Catholic background worked for the Citizens Advice Bureau, and has stated that she lost control of her son when he was young. He was arrested on two occasions for shoplifting. However, Hirst sees her as someone who would not tolerate rebellion: she cut up his bondage trousers and heated one of his Sex Pistols vinyl records on the cooker to turn it into a fruit bowl (or a plant pot). He says, "If she didn't like how I was dressed, she would quickly take me away from the bus stop." She did, though, encourage his liking for drawing, which was his only successful educational subject.

His art teacher at Allerton Grange School "pleaded" for Hirst to be allowed to enter the sixth form, where he took two A-levels, achieving an "E" grade in art. He was refused admission to Jacob Kramer School of Art when he first applied, but attended the college after a subsequent successful application to the Foundation Diploma course.

He 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, Hirst said, "blew me away", and which he modelled his own work on for the next two years.

He worked for two years on London building sites, then studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London (1986–89), although again he was refused a place the first time he applied. In 2007, Hirst was quoted as saying of An Oak Tree by Goldsmiths' senior tutor, Michael Craig-Martin: "That piece is, I think, the greatest piece of conceptual sculpture. I still can't get it out of my head."While a student, Hirst had a placement at a mortuary, an experience that influenced his later themes and materials. 

In 2000, Hirst's sculpture Hymn (which Saatchi had bought for a reported £1m) was given pole position at the show Ant Noises (an anagram of "sensation") in the Saatchi Gallery. Hirst was then sued himself for breach of copyright over this sculpture (see Appropriation below). Hirst sold three more copies of his sculpture for similar amounts to the first. In September 2000, in New York, Larry Gagosian held the Hirst show, Damien Hirst: Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings. 100,000 people visited the show in 12 weeks and all the work was sold.

On 10 September 2002, on the eve of the first anniversary of the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks, Hirst said in an interview with BBC News Online:

"The thing about 9/11 is that it's kind of like an artwork in its own right. It was wicked, but it was devised in this way for this kind of impact. It was devised visually... You've got to hand it to them on some level because they've achieved something which nobody would have ever have thought possible, especially to a country as big as America. So on one level they kind of need congratulating, which a lot of people shy away from, which is a very dangerous thing."

The next week, following public outrage at his remarks, he issued a statement through his company, Science Ltd:

"I apologise unreservedly for any upset I have caused, particularly to the families of the victims of the events on that terrible day."

In 2002, Hirst gave up smoking and drinking after his wife Maia had complained and "had to move out because I was so horrible". He had met Joe Strummer (former lead singer of The Clash) at Glastonbury in 1995, becoming good friends and going on annual family holidays with him. Just before Christmas 2002, Strummer died of a heart attack. This had a profound effect on Hirst, who said, "It was the first time I felt mortal." He subsequently devoted a lot of time to founding a charity, Strummerville, to help young musicians.

In April 2003, the Saatchi Gallery opened at new premises in County Hall, London, with a show that included a Hirst retrospective. This brought a developing strain in his relationship with Saatchi to a head (one source of contention had been who was most responsible for boosting their mutual profile). Hirst disassociated himself from the retrospective to the extent of not including it in his CV. He was angry that a Mini car that he had decorated for charity with his trademark spots was being exhibited as a serious artwork. The show also scuppered a prospective Hirst retrospective at Tate Modern. He said Saatchi was "childish" and "I'm not Charles Saatchi's barrel-organ monkey ... He only recognises art with his wallet ... he believes he can affect art values with buying power, and he still believes he can do it."

In September 2003, he had an exhibition Romance in the Age of Uncertainty at Jay Jopling's White Cube gallery in London, which made him a reported £11m, bringing his wealth to over £35m. It was reported that a sculpture, Charity, had been sold for £1.5m to a Korean, Kim Chang-Il, who intended to exhibit it in his department store's gallery in Seoul. The 22-foot (6.7m), 6-ton sculpture was based on the 1960s Spastic Society's model, which is of a girl in leg irons holding a collecting box. In Hirst's version the collecting box is shown broken open and is empty.

Charity was exhibited in the centre of Hoxton Square, in front of the White Cube. Inside the gallery downstairs were 12 vitrines representing Jesus's disciples, each case containing mostly gruesome, often blood-stained, items relevant to the particular disciple. At the end was an empty vitrine, representing Christ. Upstairs were four small glass cases, each containing a cow's head stuck with scissors and knives. It has been described as an "extraordinarily spiritual experience" in the tradition of Catholic imagery. At this time Hirst bought back 12 works from Saatchi (a third of Saatchi's holdings of Hirst's early works), through Jay Jopling, reportedly for more than £8 million. Hirst had sold these pieces to Saatchi in the early 1990s for rather less, his first installations costing under £10,000.

On 24 May 2004, a fire in the Momart storage warehouse destroyed many works from the Saatchi collection, including 17 of Hirst's, although the sculpture Charity survived, as it was outside in the builder's yard. That July, Hirst said of Saatchi, "I respect Charles. There's not really a feud. If I see him, we speak, but we were never really drinking buddies."

Damien Hirst is equally renowned for his paintings. These include his ‘Butterfly Paintings’, tableaux of actual butterflies suspended in paint, or in ‘Amazing Revelations’ (2003), for instance, Damien Hirst arranged thousands of butterfly wings in a mandala-like pattern. Damien Hirst’s mandala-like butterfly etchings include a set of Cathedral Prints; Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Duomo’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Hagia Sophia’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Notre Dame’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Orvieto’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Palais des Papes’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘Santiago de Compostela’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘St Paul’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Cathedral Print ‘St Peter’. A set of Psalm prints; Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Ad te, Domine, levavi’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Benedictus Dominus (3ft)’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Coeli enarrant’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print’Confitebor tibi’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘deus, Deus meus’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Diligam te, Domine’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Dixit insipiens’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domine, Dominus noster’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘domine, in virtute tua’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domine, ne in furore’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domini est terra’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domino Confido’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Exaudi, Domine’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘exaudi, Domine’ (3ft). Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Exaudiat te dominus’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Quare fremuerunt gentes ?’ Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Usque quo, Domine?’ Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Verba mea auribus’. A set of Psalm prints with diamond dust; Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Ad te, Domine, levavi’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Benedictus Dominus’ (3ft) Diamond dust’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Coeli enarrant’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print, ‘Confitebor tibi’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘deus, Deus meus’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Diligam te, Domine’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Dixit insipiens’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domine, Dominus noster’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘domine, in virtute tua’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domine, ne in furore’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domini est terra’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Domino Confido’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Exaudi, Domine’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘exaudi, Domine’ (3ft) Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Exaudiat te dominus’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Quare fremuerunt gentes ?’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Usque quo, Domine?’ Diamond dust. Damien Hirst, print, signed, Psalm Print ‘Verba mea auribus’ Diamond dust. A set of Sanctum etchings; Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Belfry’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Chancel’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Dome’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Minaret’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Spire’. Damien Hirst, print, signed, ‘Sanctum Altar’.

Damien Hirst’s Butterfly prints also include butterflies encrusted on hearts. The butterflies, captured on the plane of rich gloss paint – like luminous fly-paper – are among Damien Hirst’s most famous motifs, emblematic as they are of the fleetingness of life, and the romance of death. Blending the optimistic sentiments of the Beatles with Damien Hirst’s own delicate musings on mortality, the print finds the butterflies seemingly suspended in celebration, the vibrancy of their wings never diminishing, not even in death. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘All you need is Love, Love, Love’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘All you need is Love, Love, Love’, diamond dust. And five butterflies on a cream back ground; Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘All you need is Love’.

 

In December 2004, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living was sold by Saatchi to American collector Steve Cohen, for $12 million (£6.5 million), in a deal negotiated by Hirst's New York agent, Gagosian. Cohen, a Greenwich hedge fund manager, then donated the work to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Sir Nicholas Serota had wanted to acquire it for the Tate Gallery, and Hugo Swire, Shadow Minister for the Arts, tabled a question to ask if the government would ensure it stayed in the country. Current export regulations do not apply to living artists.

Damien Hirst’s ‘Spin’ paintings are made with a machine that centrifugally disperses the paint steadily poured onto a shaped canvas surface. Damien Hirst’s spin etchings are; Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘All around the World’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Burning Wheel’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Catherine wheel’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Circles in the Sand’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Follow my Leader’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Global a go go for Joe’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Helter Skelter’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘How to disappear completely’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘I get Around’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘In a Spin’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘In the Groove’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘My Way’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Orbital’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Revolution’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Ring a ring of Roses’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Spin, Spin, Sugar’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Spinning Around’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Spinning Wheel’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ”Throw it Around’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Tie a yellow ribbon round the Old Oak Tree’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Twist’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Twist and Shout’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Twisted Insobriety’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Vortex’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Wheel meet Again’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Wheel within a Wheel’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘Windmills of my Mind’. Damien Hirst, print, signed ‘You throw a Melon at my Head’.