By: I. Maluf
Damien Hirst is a British conceptual, post-modernist artist that is seen as one of the most controversial people in the contemporary art world. Since the start of his career, the artist has aimed to explore the relationship between art, life and death. He found it interesting that people found death “unacceptable”, and therefore he tried to shock them and make them think about the inevitability of dying through his works.
The artist achieved the status as a household name because of his series called ‘natural history’, which contains his most famous works. The piece with shark suspended in formaldehyde solution, entitled ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ has become one of the most talked about works of contemporary art of all time, and it has amazed and angered thousands since it was created in 1991. With the proper curatorial text, the piece made sense due to the artist’s purpose, but it enraged thousands because of his use of animal corpses for the sake of art. Hirst claimed that he wanted to create a “zoo of dead animals” with the series.
Hirst is also a businessman and has turned himself into a personal brand, and he has diversity in his art works. He has painted abstract pieces and his diamond skull sculpture is very notorious and has thousands of reproductions around the world. To this day, Hirst continues to be criticized by contemporary critics that argue that his work is extremely overrated and too ostentatious, but it’s impossible to say that the artist didn’t have an impact on the art world.