Damien Hirst erupted onto the international art scene in the early 1990s and has captivated audiences ever since with artworks that explore beauty, love, faith, desire, death, science and religion. From sharks preserved in tanks of formaldehyde to diamond-encrusted platinum skulls, his works challenge contemporary belief systems, tracing the uncertainties that lie at the heart of human experience. Hirst won the Turner Prize in 1995 and remains one of contemporary art’s greatest provocateurs. Continually coming up with new ways to compel and excite the viewer, Hirst not only has an ability to stay relevant, but an amazing knack of leading the way – exemplified by his 2021 project, ‘The Currency’, a drop of 10,000 NFTs which corresponded to 10,000 unique physical artworks.
Hirst’s coloured spots on a white background, followed closely by his pharmaceutical pills and butterflies, have without doubt become the most recognisable signifier for contemporary art. He is reportedly the world’s richest living artist, and in 2007 his sculpture ‘Lullaby Spring’ (2002) sold at Sotheby’s in London for just over US$19,000,000.