Art's reigning enfant terrible, Damien Hirst, was born June 7, 1965 in Bristol, England. The now not-so-young British artist is best known for his macabre installations, business savvy and yobbish personality.
Hirst got an early jump start to his career when he organized the "Freeze" exhibition at Goldsmith's University in London in 1988, which was attended by art mega-patron Charles Saatchi.
Over the last two decades, Hirst has continued to fascinate and frustrate the art world. He's best known for his Natural History series, which consists of several works completed during the 1990s featuring dead animals in tanks of formaldehyde. In 1995, Hirst received British art's top award, the Turner Prize, the exhibition for which included one of these works, Mother and Child, Divided. During his acceptance speech at the Tate Hirst declared, "It’s amazing what you can do with an E in A-Level art, a twisted imagination and a chainsaw."
Hirst gained international notoriety when his work was displayed at the Brooklyn Museum in 1999 as part of the "Sensation" exhibition. The show included Hirst's installation "This Little Piggy Went to the Market, This Little Piggy Stayed at Home," which is a bisected pig in two vitrines on a mechanized track. Then mayor Rudy Giuliani criticized the exhibition, declaring the art "sick stuff."
Fascinated by science, life, death and religion, Hirst has explored these interests in a variety of media. He has directed a music video, opened a restaurant, studded a platinum-cast skull with thousands of diamonds and currently employs dozens of assistants at his company, Science Ltd.
In addition to shocking with his art, Hirst is known for his scurrilous behavior. In addition to occasionally making out with his art works, he has admitted to severe drug and alcohol issues during the 1990s. He lives with his girlfriend, fashion designer Maia Norman, with whom he has three sons.
Check out some of his works in the slideshow below, which demonstrate that despite turning 46 today, Hirst is still the bad boy of British art.