Whether you love him or hate him though, he's richer than you and pulled in one of (if not) the highest number of visitors to the Tate Modern last year for an exhibition of his work.
In fact, he is the richest artist alive today. The likes of the similarly controversial Saatchi (but for different reasons) supposedly gave him £50,000 to produce something - anything - and the result was a shark in preservative fluid...
So, it's not surprising that someone broke into a gallery on Monday this week and took nothing other than two Damien Hirst pieces. What they took had a value of about £33,000 and was taken from a small and new little Gallery in the North Kensington area. The alarm did not sound and obviously the bloke who runs the gallery is gutted...
The two pieces that was stolen. The top, larger one is called Pyronin Y and the bottom, diddier one is called Oleoylsarcosine.
It is likely that the thief was capitalising on the lack of security measures the gallery had and the fact that they were exhibiting these pieces only temporarily. The fact that only a normal front-door separated the outside from the expensive pieces of art made it easy and quick.
You've got to laugh ain't you - it's going to be so hard to locate them considering they're just dots!
Some probably more interesting and disgusting things for which Hirst is famous for:
Hirst is probably the babydaddy of giving your artwork unnecessarily stupid names. E.G the two above:Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding (Left), 1991 and Isolated Elements Swimming in the Same Direction for the Purpose of Understanding (Right), 1991
I reckon, I mean it's got to be, satirical surely?! He's got a thing for dead animals this one.
Love Lost, 1999
Mother and Child (Divided), 1993
Ha ha disgusting. I like the name for this one, albeit stupid aswell, it's just funny that if you were to google 'Mother and Child art' VERY different images would come up. It's a blatant piss take of the old tradition of Mary with the Christchild but also is a bit eerie. The separation of a mother from its child and vice versa is shown in the consequential separation of the cows individually too (quite literally). Do we read too much into it? is Hirst a weirdo? or is he just giving us something to look at which is vile and then laughing at our attempts to decipher it? hmmmmmmmhmhmhmmhmh
A human skull, with encrusted diamonds. Errr... I'm sure it's somesort of comment on the materialistic tendencies of most of us. I would not die for diamonds though
The name of this one actually makes sense to me. I don't know if you've ever heard of Plato's Symposium but for those who haven't it's like an Ancient Greek version of Genesis from the 4th century BC. In the dialogue of the Symposium Plato tells us in the voice of Aristophanes (a play-wright who died a year before it was written) about the origins of the human race. Aristophanes explains to us that once, all humans bore 4 legs, 4 arms, and 2 faces on one head. This early human supposedly also had both female and male sets of genitalia. The Gods became fearful of these early, and very powerful, humans and thus they were presented with the "human problem". They explored many possibilities, and one was to obliterate them: they could have just struck them all down with lightning like they did the Titans. The only problem with that however is that the humans provided offerings for the Gods; and no humans - no offerings. So Zeus decided that to both stop the threat of the humans and to double up the amount of offerings the Gods should split humans into two to punish them for their proud behaviour. At first, the humans were very upset and essentially killing themselves off. Apollo therefore decided to reconfigure a new human form from the half bodies that they were left with from their old form. The new form that came to be had been 'stitched' up the side, had everything centralised, the face made whole and the genitalia split between male and female. Apparently, the only remnant of this form was the belly-button. I think that's a brilliantly inventive way to explain a bellybutton haha - in all fairness as well, they explained Androgyny this way too! Anyway, although the humans felt better, they still spent the rest of their lives looking for their other half: their soulmate. How cute. Think of that story and look back at the title!
The Immaculate Heart – Sacred, 2008