Damien Hirst: greatest hits in pictures

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The artist's works that rocked and shocked the world

Damien Hirst's work may divide critical opinion but there's no denying that his art creates impact. Everyone has heard of his shark, spots and diamond skull. Now he has a major retrospective at Tate Modern. Helen Sumpter charts the works that rocked and shocked the world.

1. ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’, 1991

'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living', 1991, by Damien Hirst 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living', 1991, by Damien Hirst - © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved. DACS 2011. Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates

Steven Spielberg’s 1975 movie ‘Jaws’ may have been first to turn a shark (albeit a big rubber one called Bruce) into a money-making hit but Hirst’s tiger shark in formaldehyde heralded a new boom in British art. Funded by Charles Saatchi, Hirst’s fish became the perfect pin-up both for Saatchi’s 'Young British Art' exhibitions of the 1990s and the subsequent ‘Sensation’ touring show. Later bought by uber-rich American Steven Cohen, this bold, brash, ‘trophy’ work also hooked a new breed of buyer to the British art market – the hedge-fund billionaire.


Find your favourite Hirst hit

‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’, 1991 ‘A Thousand Years’, 1990 Spot paintings Spin paintings ‘Lullaby, the Seasons Spring’ 2002 Butterflies Pharmacy ‘For the Love of God’, 2007

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