See the Outrageous Spectrum of Damien Hirst’s Art

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It’s hard to say how much longer Damien Hirst can be called the enfant terrible of the art world—with his 50th birthday on Sunday, he’s no longer anywhere near an “enfant,” and his work is now so familiar to many that much of its shock appeal has faded.

But some pieces will always polarize the public, some of which continue to be turned off by his diamond-encrusted skulls and formaldehyde-preserved animals (though critics have mostly agreed upon his talent and influence). And with his works frequently fetching millions at auction, there’s no denying his impact on the market.

British artist Damien Hirst poses next to his painting "I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds", at the Tate Modern gallery in London
Hirst with his painting "I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds" (2006), at the Tate Modern gallery in London April 2, 2012. The work, part of his Kaleidoscope series, consists of butterfly wings in household paint.Toby Melville—Reuters
An art handler places drugs for an art installation of British artist Hirst in the new Brandhorst modern art museum in Munich
Pills are a recurring motif for Hirst, whose 2002 work "In This Terrible Moment We Are All Victims of an Environment That Refuses to Acknowledge the Soul" is shown here being assembled in the Brandhorst modern art museum in Munich.Alexandra Beier—Reuters
A woman walks past a painting titled "Ur
Hirst's iconic "Spot Paintings" are mostly executed by his assistants. This one, "Urea-13C" (2001-2006), shares a name with a breath test for H. pylori. Timothy A. Clary—AFP/Getty Images
Visitors walk behind a work by British artist Hirst at the Kunsthaus in Bregenz
Perhaps Hirst's most famous work, "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" (1991) consists of a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde.Miro Kuzmanovic—Reuters
Sotheby's To Auction Damien Hirst's New Works
Similar to the shark work, "The Dream" (2008) preserves a horse with a unicorn's horn.Peter Macdiarmid—Getty Images
The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire view the sculpture Legend by Damien Hirst in the gardens of their home Chatsworth House
"Legend" (2011), a painted bronze, is displayed here at Chatsworth House, with the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire looking on.Darren Staples—Reuters
File photograph shows a diamond-encrusted platinum skull by British artist Damien Hirst, in London
Another signature Hirst is the diamond-encrusted platinum skull, "For the Love of God" (2007), with original 18th-century human teeth. Ho New—Reuters

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