"As an artist you're looking for universal triggers. You want it both ways. You want it to have an immediate impact, and you want it to have deep meanings as well. I'm striving for both. But I hate it when people write things that sound like they've swallowed a fucking dictionary."
Damien Hirst was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths college from 1986 to 1989. He was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995.
Since the late 1980's, Hirst has used a varied practise of installation, sculpture, painting and drawing to explore the complex relationship between art, life and death. Explaining: "Art's about life and it can't really be about anything else … there isn't anything else," Hirst's work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of human experience.
Damien Hirst developed his interest in exploring the "unacceptable idea" of death as a teenager in Leeds. From the age of sixteen, he made regular visits to the anatomy department of Leeds Medical School in order to make life drawings ('With Dead Head' (1991)). The experiences served to establish the difficulties he perceived in reconciling the idea of death in life. Of the prominence of death in his work ('A Thousand Years' (1990))