British artist Damien Hirst doesn’t shy away from the controversial.
His public comments, his sculptures and conceptual art, and the way he mass-produces his art have all been subject to public debate.
In 2008, Hirst made waves by selling a complete show–an unprecedented move for a living artist–through Sotheby’s. Beautiful Inside My Head Forever raised $198 million, smashing the record for an one-artist auction sale.
Some of Hirst’s other famous work include dead rotting cows he positioned to appear as if they were having intercourse.
In fact, he loves working with dead animals. In 2007, he had an installation in the Lever House in New York that consisted of 30 dead sheep, one dead shark, two sides of beef, 300 sausages and a pair of doves in the lobby.
His human skull piece, cast in platinum and covered with 8,601 diamonds, also caused an uproar when he claimed to have sold it for $100 million.
In an e-mail interview with ArtInfo this month, he brushed off the flak he receives for having a factory of workers producing his art. He still considers those pieces to all be Hirst originals.
Hirst is also believed to be the world’s wealthiest living artist, with a net worth of around $388 million, according to a 2009 list compiled by the UK’s Sunday Times.
Now, Hirst is making headlines again, with an enormous international exhibition of “spot” paintings taking place at 11 different Gagosian galleries around the world, from London to Hong Kong (three are in New York). Catch his works through February 18th on Madison Avenue and elsewhere.
This sculpture is from Hirst's collection Geograph, here displayed in Serpentine Gallery in London in 2007.
This preserved 13-foot tiger shark in a tank of formaldehyde, from Hirst, was on display at the Museum of Metropolitan art in 2007.
Here, Hirst shows off his personality in front of the camera at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, in New York.
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