Damien Steven Hirst from Bristol, United Kingdom, is one of the world’s most influential painters and conceptual artists. While attending college in London, Hirst curated a student show, and the exhibition presented works from his classmates who were called the Young British Artists (YBAs) in the 1990s. His popularity only soared from that point in his life. He is best known for his installations that feature preserved deal animals displayed in clear cases and pharmaceutical themes showcasing pill cabinets. He is also recognized for his ‘spin’ and ‘spot’ paintings over the years. Hirst is one of the most commercially successful artists and once made history for selling the most expensive artwork ever.

Hirst’s most expensive works range between paintings, cabinets and formaldehyde-preserved animals. His sold-out installations have amassed him a $700 million net worth until now. Let’s take a look at Damien Hirst’s most expensive works sold to date.

10 Memories Of/ Moments With You

The first on the list is Damien Hirst’s 2008 work called Memories Of/Moments With You. It was made from stainless steel, gold, and cubic zirconia. The work was displayed at various auctions, most of which occurred at Tate Modern. Hirst had made the bold decision to take all of his artworks straight to auctions rather than galleries and dealers who earn commissions. Memories Of/Moments With You was auctioned at Sotheby’s London and sold for $4.13 million, as stated by Wide Walls.

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9 Away From The Flock

Created in 1994, Away From The Flock is the first work of Damien Hirst made using formaldehyde. The lamb sculpture inside a clear glass was sold at Christie’s during the Post-War And Contemporary Art Evening Sale in 2018. The work was purchased in 30 seconds after the bidding began for $4.41 million. Hirst had made four editions of the Flock, and the others are displayed at The Broad and Tate Britain.

8 Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Hirst’s installation called Here Today, Gone Tomorrow is as beautiful as it is complex. The work is made from stainless steel, glass, acrylic, MDF, fish, fish skeletons, and formaldehyde solution. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow was created in 2008 and sold the same year at Sotheby’s London for $4.67 million.

7 The Void

The Void was executed in 2000 and the largest and the first-ever pill cabinet created by Hirst. It was also the first cabinet work shown at an exhibition. The structure features mirrored back, sliding glass doors, sterilized steel casing, and hand-made and painted pills lined with precision. According to Art-Net News, the artwork was sold at Phillips New York for $5.85 million.

6 Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way

The following artwork on the list also features a pill cabinet and is a beautiful artwork created in 2007. The cabinet features antiretroviral pills that are consumed to treat HIV/AIDS. The entire artwork is filled with those pills in sterilized steel casing and sliding glass doors. The piece was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York and sold for $6.5 million.

5 Lullaby Winter

A glimpse into the concepts of life, death, and the human condition, Hirst’s Lullaby Winter features thousands of hand-crafted pills displayed on clear shelves and shiny steel cases. The number of shelved pills denote the number of pills a human consumes in a lifetime. The display questions mortality and how medicines influence people’s lives. The piece was sold at Sotheby’s New York for $6.6 million.

4 Eternity

The Kaleidoscope has always inspired Hirst to create his artwork. One of his early works was a Kaleidoscope series, which featured butterfly-winged paintings on a 17-feet wide canvas that contained 2,700 butterflies. It highlighted Hirst’s interest in the blurring lines between life and death. Eternity was a part of the same series and sold at Phillips in London for $6.6 million, as stated by My Art Broker.

3 The Kingdom

The Kingdom is one of Hirst’s most famous sculptures that features a tiger shark in a clear glass cabinet. Created in 2008, the piece was sold during the same year at a Sotheby’s auction for $15.3 million. The excess media attention on the selling price made Hirst comment that art cannot be contained by money, and it is essential to appreciate the efforts taken to make the piece.

2 The Golden Calf

Sold at the controversial Sotheby’s auction in 2008, the sculpture features a white bullock preserved in formaldehyde. The hoofs and horns on the bullock are made from 18-carat gold and a gold disc on top of the head. The artwork drew three bidders before it was sold for $16.5 million.

1 Lullaby Spring

Part of the cabinet series, Lullaby Spring displays the Spring season with the hand-crafted pills located with precision. The bright-colored tablets symbolize new beginnings like the Spring and the celebration of a renewed life. The artwork was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2007 for $19.3 million, as noted by Daily Art Magazine.

While art is invaluable, the insightful artworks by Damien Hirst have been sought-after pieces. Shedding light on human life and mortality, the artist presents questions bigger than his works. Hirst was recently in the spotlight for inspiring musician Drake’s newest album, Certified Lover Boy’s album cover featuring a series of emojis of pregnant women wearing different colors of clothes, similar to his infamous pill cabinets.

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Sources: Wide Walls, Art-Net News, My Art Broker, Daily Art Magazine

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