Hirst was born Damien Brennan, and adopted by a car dealer and his wife (his birth father was a photographer). He did not do well in school art and was rejected by St. Martin's College (but was later accepted by Goldsmith's College, where he graduated in 1989), but he has become one of the most famous "bad boy" artists of the current generation.
He is especially famous (or notorious) for his works involving the exhibition of the preserved and mutilated bodies of animals. He won the Turner prize (for young British artists) in 1995 and has contributed to a number of books on modern art. He also has opened a restaurant (Pharmacy) and started a record company (Turtleneck Records) in 1998.
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