Damien Hirst Net Worth | Celebrity Net Worth
What is Damien Hirst’s Net Worth?
Damien Hirst is an English artist who has a net worth of $700 million. Damien Hirst rose to fame in the 90s as a member of the Young British Artists. He is particularly well known for his series of sculptures featuring dead animals that have been preserved in formaldehyde, with his most renowned piece being “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.” In 2008, Hirst broke ground by bypassing the galleries and selling a complete show by auction at Sotheby’s. The sale generated nearly $200 million. Damien Hirst is considered the richest living artist in the world.
Early Life and Education
Damien Hirst was born as Damien Brennan on June 7, 1965 in Bristol, England to an Irish single mother. When he was two, his mother married his stepfather; they divorced a decade later. Hirst was raised in Leeds, where he went to Allerton Grange School. He was a rebellious youth, much to the chagrin of his mother, and was arrested twice for shoplifting. For his higher education, Hirst applied to Jacob Kramer College, which initially rejected him. However, he ended up attending after submitting a second, successful application. After working on building sites in London for a couple of years, Hirst returned to school to study fine art at Goldsmiths College. While there, he worked at a mortuary, an experience that became formative to his later artworks.
During his second year at Goldsmiths, Hirst served as the primary organizer of an independent student exhibition called “Freeze,” to which he also contributed artwork. He went on to both curate and exhibit in a number of shows after that. In 1990, at a show called “Gambler,” Hirst exhibited his first major animal installation, “A Thousand Years.” The work featured a decaying cow’s head covered in maggots and flies, all encased in glass.
Rise to Fame in the 90s
Hirst held his first solo exhibition, “In and Out of Love,” in London in 1991. Businessman Charles Saatchi, a longtime admirer of Hirst’s work, subsequently offered to fund his next major artwork. The result was “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” which was showcased at the inaugural Young British Artists exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery in 1992. Featuring a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde inside of a vitrine, the piece sold for £50,000 and became Hirst’s most famous work. The next year, Hirst made his first major international presentation at the Venice Biennale with “Mother and Child Divided,” featuring a dissected cow and calf. In 1994, he curated the show “Some Went Mad, Some Ran Away,” where he showcased his work “Away from the Flock.” Notably, the piece was vandalized by artist Mark Bridger, who was given two years’ probation. The installation was eventually restored.
Hirst’s star continued to rise in the art and entertainment scene throughout the latter half of the 90s. In 1995, he won the Turner Prize; the same year, he directed the music video for the Blur song “Country House.” After that, he had solo shows in such cities as Seoul, South Korea and Salzburg, Austria, and had his first solo exhibition in New York City. In 1998, Hirst formed the band Fat Les with Blur bassist Alex James and actor Keith Allen. The group had a hit with its debut single, the football-themed song “Vindaloo,” which was recorded for the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
Career in the 21st Century
Kicking off the 21st century, Hirst exhibited his sculpture “Hymn” at the Saatchi Gallery show “Ant Noises.” The piece was controversial due to allegations that it had breached copyright. A few years later, Hirst had one of his most successful exhibitions in London with “Romance in the Age of Uncertainty,” which reportedly made him £11m. In 2006, he held his first major show in Latin America, in Mexico. The following year, Hirst set a record for the most expensive work of art by a living artist when he sold his installation “Lullaby Spring” for $19.2 million to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The same year, he debuted his artwork “For the Love of God,” a platinum human skull bedazzled with 8,601 diamonds.
In 2008, Hirst did something unprecedented for a living artist when he sold a complete show, “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever,” via auction at Sotheby’s. Consisting of 218 items, the auction raised £111 million, and set a record for a single artist sale. Hirst has since continued to exhibit in places around the world; in 2022, he held his first major solo show in Japan, at the National Art Center in Tokyo. He has also ventured into the world of NFTs.
In addition to making art, Hirst is also an avid collector. His collection, which he has exhibited to the public, contains works by such artists as Francis Bacon, Jeff Koons, Banksy, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, and Gary Hume.
Beyond the art world, Hirst had a short-lived partnership with chef Marco Pierre White that resulted in the restaurant Quo Vadis. He was also a co-owner of the now-defunct restaurant Pharmacy in Notting Hill. Elsewhere, Hirst is a co-owner of the seafood restaurant 11 The Quay in the seaside town Ilfracombe.
Hirst’s longest-term romantic relationship was with American Maia Norman. Although the two never married, they lived together from 1992 to 2012 and had three sons.