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Damien Hirst's Quotes

Damien Hirst profile photo

Born: 1965-06-07
Profession: Artist
Nation: British
Biography of Damien Hirst

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It'd be nice to make lots of money but it's quite difficult, because every time I make lots of money I make a bigger piece that costs lots of money.

Tags: Money, Nice, Time

It's good to have a title that's not just one word. If you're gonna title it, you might as well try and say something.

Tags: Good, Try, Word

It's such a crass idea - you're either in love or out of love.

Tags: Either, Idea, Love

My Mum brought me up to believe that if you look after the pennies then the pounds look after themselves, and I could never do it.

Tags: After, Mum, Themselves

No, I don't believe in genius. I believe in freedom. I think anyone can do it. Anyone can be like Rembrandt.

Tags: Anyone, Freedom, Genius

Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity.

Tags: Makes, While, Worry

Picasso, Michelangelo, possibly, might be verging on genius, but I don't think a painter like Rembrandt is a genius.

Tags: Genius, Might, Painter

The difference between art about death and actual death is that one's a celebration and the other's a dull fact.

Tags: Art, Between, Death

The idea of being a painter, I've always thought, is better than being an artist or a sculptor.

Tags: Artist, Idea, Thought

There's no possible way you can get what you want.

Tags: Possible

When it comes to the British monarchy, I prefer to be seduced by an image than presented with a real person. It's kind of a Warhol thing.

Tags: British, Image, Real

Whenever I've been well-known or hitting the press, I've always had to get my credit card out to prove I'm Damien Hirst.

Tags: Credit, Press, Prove

You need a big ego to be an artist.

Tags: Artist, Big, Ego

I always look at money not as a motivating factor but as an element in the composition. You can't ignore it, but you've got to be very careful that it's not motivating you.

Tags: Careful, Ignore, Money

Most people live in the city and go to the country at the weekend, and that's posh and aristocratic, but actually to live in the country and come to London when you can't take it any more is different.

Tags: Actually, Country, Weekend

But it's like the horror of being in a studio with a blank canvas. I used to always run out of ideas because there are so many possibilities and I would just think, well what am I going to do now!

Tags: Ideas, Run, Used

But the answer to how to live is to stop thinking about it. And just to live. But you're doing that anyway. However you intellectualise it, you still just live.

Tags: Answer, Stop, Thinking

Great art - or good art - is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don't think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different.

Tags: Art, Good, Great

I always feel a bit trapped when a painting goes for millions of pounds and only one person can have it. If you can have that as well as a poster on every student's wall, then you're in a very enviable position. I'd like to do a Damien Hirst for £500 at some point.

Tags: Goes, Point, Student

I remember when you used to have your profession on your passport and I always thought that being a painter was the best one to be, because my heroes were Goya and Francis Bacon.

Tags: Best, Remember, Thought

I think art is good at looking back and looking forward. I don't think art is good at looking head-on. At the end of the day, people are more important than paintings.

Tags: Art, Forward, Good

I think I've always been afraid of painting, really. Right from the beginning. All my paintings are about painting without a painter. Like a kind of mechanical form of painting.

Tags: Afraid, Beginning, Painting

I was taught to confront things you can't avoid. Death is one of those things. To live in a society where you're trying not to look at it is stupid because looking at death throws us back into life with more vigour and energy. The fact that flowers don't last for ever makes them beautiful.

Tags: Death, Life, Society
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I've been asked to do a retrospective since I was about 28 and I always thought that was a bit odd. It's great to look forward as an artist because in the future the possibilities are infinite; you look back and it's all fixed so it's a scary thing.

Tags: Forward, Future, Great

Making art, good art, is always a struggle. It can make you happy when you pull it off. There's no better feeling. It's beauteous. But it's always about hard work and inspiration and sweat and good ideas.

Tags: Art, Good, Work

People always say that my work is sensational or shocking but there are truly shocking things you could do, and my sculptures don't go anywhere near that.

Tags: Anywhere, Truly, Work

Since I was a child, death is definitely something that I think about every day. But I think that everybody does. You try and avoid it, but it's such a big thing that you can't.

Tags: Big, Death, Try

The idea of going on tour for the rest of my life with old works is not that exciting. As an artist I definitely think the work in future is going to be better than the work in the past, otherwise why do it?

Tags: Future, Life, Work

When I used to do abstract paintings at school, like everyone else, the tutor said these would make great curtains. I would always neglect the formal stuff that was going on by using colour, because colour kind of came naturally to me.

Tags: Great, Said, School

So smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide without actually dying. I smoke because it's bad, it's really simple.

Tags: Bad, Perfect, Simple

Sometimes when you're drunk you can see better.

Tags: Drunk, Sometimes

The goal in life is to be solid, whereas the way that life works is totally fluid, so you can never actually achieve that goal.

Tags: Actually, Goal, Life

I think suicide is the most perfect thing you can do in life.

Tags: Life, Perfect

I have always been aware that you have to get people listening before you can change their minds. Any artist's big fear is being ignored, so if you get debate, that's great.

Tags: Change, Fear, Great

I always feel like the art's there and I just see it, so it's not really a lot of work.

Tags: Art, Work

I used to believe I was going to live forever. And then you suddenly become aware that you're not.

Tags: Become, Forever, Used

A lot of people thought I wasn't doing anything because I was spending a lot of time socialising and going out, but I've always managed to get work actually done.

Tags: Done, Time, Work

A painting probably is the most shocking increase in value, from what it costs to make to what you sell it for.

Tags: Painting, Sell, Value

But I'm more interested in why people are frightened by Jaws and why Jaws was such a hit than saying Spielberg's my main influence.

Tags: Influence, Saying, Why

In an artwork you're always looking for artistic decisions, so an ashtray is perfect. An ashtray has got life and death.

Tags: Art, Death, Life

But I think it's more that when you're young, you're invincible, you're immortal - or at least you think you are. The possibilities are limitless, you're inventing the future. Then you get older and suddenly you have a history. It's fixed. You can't change anything. I find that a bit disturbing, to be honest.

Tags: Change, Future, History

Artists are like everybody else.

Tags: Artists, Else, Everybody

As a father, I would say I am more like a mother. I do a lot of hugging.

Tags: Father, Hugging, Mother

Being best is a false goal, you have to measure success on your own terms.

Tags: Best, Goal, Success

But whenever I look at the question of how to live, the answer's always staring me in the face. I'm already doing it.

Tags: Answer, Face, Question

For me, art is always a kind of theater.

Tags: Art, Theater

I always ignore money.

Tags: Ignore, Money

I made one untitled piece.

Tags: Piece

I realised that you couldn't use the tools of yesterday to communicate today's world. Basically, that was the big light that went on in my head.

Tags: Big, Light, Today

I think an ashtray is the most fantastically real thing.

Tags: Ashtray, Real

I think I like big issues, but I don't believe in God or religion.

Tags: Big, God, Religion

I think money is important for everyone, because the lack of it is so painful.

Tags: Everyone, Money, Painful

I'm 43. I'm not ready to sit down in a chair with my name on it yet.

Tags: Name, Ready, Sit

Immortality is really desirable, I guess. In terms of images, anyway.

Tags: Anyway, Guess, Images

I'm very bad at delegating writing responsibilities, because I've never been able to do it; I've never had any help or looked for any help.

Tags: Bad, Help, Writing

It works better if your lead character is complex and interesting and not perfect.

Tags: Character, Perfect, Works

Nobody knows what really happened in any historical period. There are some periods where we know more than others, though.

Tags: Knows, Others, Though

Once I engage in something, I really engage in it, and I love the process of reading and researching because I come from an academic background.

Tags: Love, Once, Reading

People love cliches. If you can give people cliches, that's very good TV, then.

Tags: Give, Good, Love

When you're a screenwriter working on a film, you're not really even welcome on set, even if you know... When I wrote 'Elizabeth' and Shekhar Kapur was a friend of mine, but I wasn't really welcome on set, because the director is God and it's a very difficult position for a screenwriter who's put so much passion into that, into the writing.

Tags: Friend, God, Writing

When you're making a TV drama, the showrunner is God, and so however onerous and difficult and consuming that responsibility is, you're being treated with respect, so it changes your whole outlook to the production. You're being asked about costumes, set design, music, every aspect of the show.

Tags: God, Music, Respect

With 'The Tudors,' I had a huge amount of material, I mean so many books and so much stuff about what they really said. So, in a way it was kind of trying to strip it out and find the stories inside all this material.

Tags: Mean, Said, Trying
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