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Damien Hirst (British, b.b. 1965)


Birth Place: Bristol (Bristol, England, United Kingdom)

Born in 1965, Damien Hirst is a painter, sculptor, and philanthropist. Known for works like: "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," a shark in a vitrine tank full of formaldehyde; "For the Love of God," a diamond encrusted human skull; "A Thousand Years," a life-cycle in a box comprised of hatching maggots, full-grown flies feeding on a severed cow's head and a bug-zapping device; and "Sanctimony," a canvas painted with house paint and covered in actual butterfly wings.

Hirst rose to fame in the 1990's as part of a group known as the Young British Artists (YBAs). He has faced criticism for using assistants to work on his spin and spot paintings. Like Andy Warhol, Hirst has always embraced the factory method of producing art. In fact, he owns an actual factory in the UK where he employs artists, metalworkers and sculptors to produce his visions.

Considered to be one of the world's richest living artists, Hirst said in 2000, "I think becoming a brand name is an important part of life." To that end, he markets coffee mugs, skateboard decks and credit card holders that he has designed.

Hirst lives with his wife, Maia, and their three sons in Devon, UK. Hirst said in a 2014 interview, "The world's a very complicated place and sometimes you look at it and you feel like a child and that's the sort of best viewpoint. In the face of the world, we're always children."

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