After studying at Goldsmiths College in London, Damien Hirst first made his mark in 1988 when he conceived and curated the Freeze exhibition. Typically using a range of media, Hirst continues to challenge conventional notions of high art and aesthetic value. His installations, paintings, and prints are compelled by the fundamental dilemmas of human existence. Influenced by the history of art and popular visual culture he employs devices to deconstruct barriers between the art object and the viewer within the gallery space. The immediate impact and shocking power of the work, clinically devoid of sentiment and yet referencing the most elemental of human emotions are characteristic of Hirst.
Included in the 1992 Young British Artists exhibition at Saatchi Gallery, London, Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995. Solo exhibitions of work have been presented: Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2004), Astrup Fearnley Museet fur Moderne Kunst, Oslo (2005), Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam (2008), Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague (2009), The Wallace Collection, London (2009–10), the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco (2010), the Museo di Palazzo Vecchio, Florence (2010) and Tate Modern, London (2012).