Damien Hirst

b. 1965, Bristol, UK. Lives and works in London

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Damien Hirst, Sometimes I Avoid People 1991, installation view, Systematic, 2010 at Zabludowicz Collection, London. Photo: Stephen White
Damien Hirst, Sometimes I Avoid People 1991, installation view, Systematic, 2010 at Zabludowicz Collection, London. Photo: Stephen White

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The theme of mortality, and how one leaves a mark on the world, runs throughout Damien Hirst's practice. Producing ambitious art from early in his career, Hirst combined religious imagery, medicinal equipment and preserved animal bodies in deliberately unnerving configurations. Through large-scale installations which sometimes decay over time, Hirst expresses the inherent difficulties of separating body and mind, and our simultaneous fascination with and fear of natural cycles.The way chemicals regulate patterns of life, be that pharmacology or narcotics, have been an ongoing thread throughout his career. Alongside death, Hirst has a deep fascination with the potential for beauty and innocence.