Damien Hirst


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Princeton University Press
18 October 2022
ISBN: 9780691239859
144 pages

From the publisher

A revealing collection of quotations from world-renowned artist Damien Hirst

Hirst-isms is a collection of quotations-bold, surprising, often humorous, and always insightful-from celebrated artist Damien Hirst, whose controversial work explores the connections between art, religion, science, life, and death. Emerging in the 1990s as a leading member of the Young British Artists (YBAs), Hirst first became famous and gained a reputation as a provocateur with a series of artworks featuring dead and sometimes dissected animals (including a shark, sheep, and cow) preserved in glass tanks filled with formaldehyde.

Gathered from interviews and other primary sources and organized by subject, these quotations explore Hirst's early years, family life, and the beginnings of his fascination with art; the major themes of his work; his influences and heroes; his motivation; his process and the boundary-pushing production of his work; and his thoughts on the art world, fame, and money. The result is a comprehensive and nuanced book that sheds new light on a fascinating and important contemporary artist.

Select quotations from the book:
"The less I feel like an artist, the better I feel.""I like it when people love my art. I like it when people hate my art. I just don't want them to ignore my art.""Painting's like the most fabulous illusion, because there's nothing at stake. Except yourself.""I'm interested in the confusion between art and life, I like it when the world gets in the way.""Sometimes you have to step over the edge to know where it is."