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Damien Steven Hirst[1] (/hrst/; born 7 June 1965) is an English artist, entrepreneur, and art

collector. He is the most prominent[2] member of the group known as the Young British Artists
(or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s.[3] He is internationally
renowned,[4] and is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at
215M in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.[5][6] During the 1990s his career was closely linked
with the collector Charles Saatchi, but increasing frictions came to a head in 2003 and the
relationship ended.[7]

Death is a central theme in Hirst's works.[8][9] He became famous for a series of artworks in
which dead animals (including a shark, a sheep and a cow) are preservedsometimes having
been dissectedin formaldehyde. The best known of these was The Physical Impossibility of
Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a 14-foot (4.3 m) tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde in
a vitrine (clear display case). He has also made "spin paintings," created on a spinning circular
surface, and "spot paintings", which are rows of randomly coloured circles created by his

In September 2008, he took an unprecedented move for a living artist[10] by selling a complete
show, Beautiful Inside My Head Forever, at Sotheby's by auction and bypassing his long-
standing galleries.[11] The auction exceeded all predictions, raising 111 million ($198 million),
breaking the record for a one-artist auction[12] as well as Hirst's own record with 10.3 million for
The Golden Calf, an animal with 18-carat gold horns and hooves, preserved in formaldehyde.[11]

In several instances since 1999, Hirst's works have been challenged and contested as
plagiarised, both in written articles by journalists and artists, and, in one instance, through legal
proceedings which led to an out-of-court settlement.[13]