British, b.1965. Damien Hirst is a provocative conceptual artist who came onto the scene in the late 1980s. Hirst's seminal student exhibition, Freeze, featured his work and his fellow classmates, set the stage for the new wave of contemporary art and the formation of the Young British Artists group. Hirst's paintings and sculptural installations explore mortality and beauty and challenged the art world, like contemporary vanitas scenes. From spot paintings to animals in formaldehyde and skulls in various forms, Hirst's edgy and sometimes controversial work, makes headlines and becomes part of popular culture. Hirst has also made headlines for rejecting the standard gallery representation and instead sold 200 works at auction.