ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

British Artist Damien Hirst

Updated on August 3, 2012
Hymn by Damien Hirst
Hymn by Damien Hirst

What is Art?

The question of what defines "art" comes up often when discussing the works of Damien Hirst, a member of the Young British Artists who rose to fame in the 1990's with sculptures and other art installations that pushed the bounds of what we could call art. Many, in fact, called Hirst's products obscenity and openly protested their display.

Some of the most provocative works of Hirst's include his series of dead animals suspended in formaldehyde and sometimes partially dissected. Animals that have been on display have included a mother cow and calf and a shark, among others.

A common theme in Hirst's art is death. One of his most famous pieces is a platinum skull encrusted with $20 million worth of diamonds. The skull includes real human teeth from an actual skull. Hirst led a group of art collectors who bought the piece when it didn't sell at auction for the $75 million asking price.

Some have argued that the only difference between Hirst's preserved dead animals and others that were around long before him is that Hirst has art collectors willing to pay millions of dollars for his. One particular collector that helped boost Hirst into prominence is Charles Saatchi, who had a falling out with Hirst in 2003 but before that had spent tens of millions of dollars on Hirst art and helped make Damien Hirst the richest living visual artist.

For the Love of God by Damien Hirst, his famous diamond encrusted skull
For the Love of God by Damien Hirst, his famous diamond encrusted skull

^ Seriously, it's a skull encrusted with diamonds

Just when you thought the whole skeletons-with-jewels thing went out of style after The Goonies, Damien Hirst managed to bring it back with this piece. It cost more to make than 25 average American men will make in their entire lifetimes, but it's worth even more to the art world. The diamond skull is Damien Hirst at his absolute peak, revealing an artist and an ego-maniacal fetishist in one piece.  

Virgin Mother
Virgin Mother
Another angle of that diamond encrusted platinum skull
Another angle of that diamond encrusted platinum skull
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Hirst (1991)
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Hirst (1991)


Submit a Comment

  • Zubyre profile image

    Zubyre Parvez 

    7 years ago from East London

    Explorations of Art - would be interested to hear your response. Wrote about Damien Hirst. He brings great power to art regardless, that's my two cents. Zub.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)