“Great art – or good art – is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don’t think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different.”
Damien Hirst, born June 7, 1965 is a British artist, entrepreneur, and art collector. He is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. His mother encouraged his passion for drawing from a young age. Although he struggled with school throughout his education the one subject that kept him going was art. He worked for two years in construction in London before studying at Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London.
He is the winner of the 1995 Turner Prize, and, as of 2009, the wealthiest artist in history. He rose to fame after the success of two warehouse shows he organized featuring his friends and his own work; at his second show, advertising executive Charles Saatchi purchased his work and began a long mentoring relationship with Hirst.
Hirst’s work has generated enormous controversy for its subject matter. Some of his collections include: encased dead animals in various states of preservation, the incorporation of butterfly wings into stained glass-like images, cabinets filled with pharmaceuticals, and diamond-encrusted skulls. A team of assistants help Hirst carry out his projects; his spot paintings and spin paintings are almost entirely the work of others.
In September 2008, he bypassed his galleries and sold a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby’s by auction and earned $198 million, breaking the record for a one-artist auction.
Students used a scraping technique to create their colourful backgrounds and chalk pastels to colour in their butterflys.