Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965. He grew up in Leeds with his mother, Mary Brennan, and his stepfather. He took a foundation course at Leeds School of Art before applying for college. He was rejected by St. Martin’s but moved to London in 1986 when he was accepted onto the BA Fine Art course at Goldsmiths College, graduating in 1989. While still a student in 1988, Damien conceived, organised and promoted “Freeze“, an exhibition held in a Docklands warehouse. The show featured several of Damien Hirst’s pieces, and work by 16 of his fellow Goldsmith’s’ students.
This amazingly successful self-promoted exhibition is widely believed to have been the starting point for the “Young British Artists” movement. After seeing Damien Hirst’s work at the show, Charles Saatchi (ex Thatcher ad-man), began to collect his work and exhibited it in the first “Charles Saatchi’s Young British Artists” show. In 1990, Saatchi bought Damien Hirst’s, A Thousand Years. Since then, he has produced a body of work that, admired from the start by collectors and curators, has also proved extraordinarily provocative.
In 1992, he commissioned the piece The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living for about US $32,000. He has organised a succession of exhibitions that have helped to define a generation.