These days, Damien Hirst, the former enfant terrible of Brit Art, is more interested in fund-raising than hell-raising. He tells Cassandra Jardine how he went from preserving sharks in formaldehyde to preserving a concrete castle in memory of a dear friend. For an artist said to be preoccupied with death - pickled sharks, pinned butterflies, decomposing cows' heads - the reality of it didn't hit Damien Hirst until 18 months ago.
Our Berlin based Kiwi mate Reuben plays in a band, stays up all night, writes this blog and, apparently, looks a lot like a man-sized cherub. This is a letter he wrote to England's leading formaldahyde artist Damien Hirst. Reuben's letting you read it because that's the kind of free spirit he is.
D amien Hirst was reduced to a "babbling wreck" by his prodigious consumption of drugs and alcohol, the original enfant terrible of Britart admits in an exclusive interview in the Guardian today. The Turner prize winner, better known of late as a celebrity restaurateur than as an artist, says he began suffering from blackouts after mixing cocaine and drink. Hirst says he has been experiencing "a difficulty with art" for four years, during which he has produced no significant new work.
The Last Supper is a series of thirteen large screen prints. Between three and seven screens, or colors, were used to make each print. They are unnumbered, do not follow a particular order and may be displayed individually or in groups. The images are derived from pharmaceutical packaging.
Damien Hirst is surrounded by underpants. The Hieronymous Bosch of Leeds, the psycho wunderkind of the British avant-garde, is standing in London's Joop gallery swamped by fundamental garments. Wherever you look, there are unmentionables in all shapes and textures: outsize pants, pants crusted with sugar, pants hardened with wax, pants covered in industrial cleaning fluid, pants adorning the thighs of a skip-load of inflatable women, pants made of chocolate, pants festooned with rose petals, pants on the hindquarters of a furious-looking bulldog
Monday, December 11, Rebecca Firestone Editorials. The man with the tip of his penis cut off, giving us the finger. Image: Mark English Architects.
All rights reserved, DACS Recognized as one of the leading artists of our time, a newly reformed Damien Hirst meets his literary counterpart, Irvine Welsh, to chat about high art, getting high, and the dizzying heights of success. So it was probably time that we actually met.
There are few contemporary British creative types — whether artists, impresarios or performers — who we couldn't do without; this does not apply to Hirst. No Damien, and there'd be a large, Damien-shaped hole left in our culture. If you were to make a cast out of this Hirst-shaped hole what might it look like? Well, probably not much like the Damien I know slightly.
Death is a central theme in Hirst's works. He has also made " spin paintings ", created on a spinning circular surface, and "spot paintings", which are rows of randomly coloured circles created by his assistants. In SeptemberHirst made an unprecedented move for a living artist  by selling a complete show, Beautiful Inside My Head Foreverat Sotheby's by auction and bypassing his long-standing galleries.
Damien Hirst is no stranger to controversy. Treasure from the Wreck of The Unbelievable is an epic event staged across two huge galleries in Venice. Hirst is a lot like Marmite — one of those artists you love or hate. Admirers claim this show is his best but detractors argue his career has sunk to the lower depths.