Damien Hirst started his spot paintings in the 1980s in response to a desire to engage with Expressionism, while simultaneously rejecting it. Intended as a series of similar, but unique, hand-painted works, he devised strict rules to create them. Spaces between spots equal those of the spots, and no two spots of the same colour appear in one picture.
'Pardaxin' is a shark-repellent protein produced by the Red Sea sole. Many of Hirst's installation works which incorporate found objects confront us with unknown or imaginary fears. His spot paintings counter this uncertainty with light-hearted predictability.
Damien Hirst was born in Bristol in 1965 and grew up in Leeds. He attended Goldsmiths College in London from 1986-1989 and curated a legendary exhibition in a disused warehouse entitled Freeze. The success of the exhibition led the artists involved to become known as YBAs or Young British Artists. Hirst was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1992, and won the award when he was nominated again in 1995. Hirst’s tiger shark immersed in formaldehyde became the iconic work of the 1990s and a symbol of British art worldwide. It was included in the ‘Sensation’ exhibition held at the Royal Academy of Art in 1997, which toured to New York and Berlin. In 2008 he took the unprecedented step of selling all the works from one of his shows at auction.
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