A successful and controversial artist, Damien Hirst was born in Bristol, England, on June 7, 1965. He emerged as a leading figure in the Young British Artists movement in the late 1980s and 1990s.

Raised Catholic, Damien Hirst grew up in Leeds. Early religion education later factors into his artwork. HIs mother would later describe him as a morbid child.

Hirst studied art at the Goldsmith\'s College at the University of London. While there, he put together a ground-breaking exhibit entitled "Freeze" in 1988.
Hirst and his fellow students became part of an emerging movement known as the Young British Artists. They were known for their unusual materials and for their challenging art concepts. One of Hirst\'s early works, "With Dead Head," illustrates his interest in death and shaking up the art establishment.
Career Breakthrough
In 1991, Hirst had his first solo exhibition at the Woodstock Street Gallery in London. He also participated in the Young British Artists show at the Saatchi Gallery the following year. There he displayed "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," a 14-foot-long glass tank with a shark preserved in formaldehyde. The shark had been bought from an Australian fisherman.
Business of Art
In addition to being a creative visionary, Hirst has proved to be a savvy businessman. He has parlayed his fame and notoriety into an art empire, becoming one of the wealthiest living artists today.
Later Work s
In 2007, he unveiled "For the Love of God," a glittering, diamond-encrusted skull made of platinum. Many critics were less than impressed with this "celebration against death " .
"I\'ve got an obsession with death … But I think it\'s like a celebration of life rather than something morbid." More than 9,000 butterflies died as part of an art work in his exhibition.