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Damien Hirst (1965-) Great Britain

Hirst is a British artist, entrepreneur and art collector. He grew up in Leeds and later moved to London, where he studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College from 1986 to 1989. During his second year at Goldsmiths, Hirst was responsible for the student exhibition “Freeze.” Art collector Charles Saatchi attended the exhibition and Hirst caught his eye. In 1991 Saatchi offered to sponsor Hirst in whatever artistic endeavor he wished to pursue. The result was the first exhibition of Young British Artists held in 1992 at the Saatchi Gallery in North London. Hirst was nominated for that year's Turner Prize as a result of the exhibition. Although he did not win that time, he did win a couple of years later.
Hirst’s artwork is often striking and provocative. Not only does his art provoke, but Hirst himself, both as a person and an artist. He is currently one of the world’s highest-paid living artists. In 2008, he auctioned his entire exhibition Beautiful Inside My Head Forever for a total of GBP 111 million.
Hirst’s work of art “For the Love of God” (2007) portrays a diamond-studded skull, which cost GBP 14 million pounds just to produce. This piece was later auctioned with a starting price of GBP 50 million. Other famous works by Hirst include “Mother and Child (Divided)”, a cow and calf cut into sections and mounted in glass cases.
In addition to his art, Hirst has an entrepreneurial side; he has opened restaurants and invested large sums in solar power plants, which are expected to account for nearly 2% of the total capacity of electrical solar power in the UK.

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