Damien Hirst (Bristol, 1965) is a British artist form the Young British Artists Movement or YBA. He is perhaps better known for his extremely controversial pieces, which sometimes incite public discourse, even altercations. However, his private life and career have managed to maintain a steady course of high success both artistically and financially. But, according to the Financial Times, he seems to have lost this regular course after the collaboration with his main gallery was dissolved. In just two years, the famous artist divorced his wife after 19 years of marriage, and now comes the news that he ended his relationship with Gagosian Gallery, which represented him for17 years.
Death is the central theme of his work, which many find “too macabre”. In New York, for example, authorities have denied permission to exhibit some of his pieces, like the one where he depicts a dead couple fornicating. His prices are another cause for scandal, and a reason that explains why he is frequently in the front pages of newspapers and art publications. As for the Gagosian-Hirst connection, it has been speculated that it was an “amicable” departure. The Gallery has declared that they wish him all the success in the future. While Gagosian has been loyal to the artist, Hirst was never completely loyal to the gallery and sold a large number of works on his own, including 223 works at Sotheby’s in 2008.
DAMIEN HIRST. For the Love of God.
According to media reports, Hirst will continue to work with London’s White Cube Gallery, which has supported the artist for several years, and where he displayed his unforgettable piece For the Love of God, a human skull covered in platinum and diamonds, a true icon of contemporary art.
There are also rumors that he is planning the construction of a “Damien Hirst Public Gallery” in South London, where he wants to exhibit works by other artists in addition to his own prolific oeuvre, which is estimated to comprise more than 2,000 pieces. There is also speculation that one of the artists he will include in his gallery is Jeff Koons, who may also leave the patronage of the Gagosian gallery, which currently represents the artist.
The Damien Hirst Gallery could be open by 2014. It is not yet known if the artist will also chose a gallery to exhibit his works in New York City, where he has a large number of collectors. ■