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.— Damien Hirst
The most memorable Damien Hirst quotes that will transform you to a better person
I think as an artist you have to reinvent yourself every day.
As an artist you're looking for universal triggers.
You want it both ways. You want it to have an immediate impact, and you want it to have deep meanings as well. I'm striving for both. But I hate it when people write things that sound like they've swallowed a f... dictionary.
You've really got to get down on the floor with yourself and get low in order to make great art. I think you've just got to accept who you are and do the most unbelievable things.
So smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide without actually dying.
I smoke because it's bad, it's really simple.
I believe all painting and art should be uplifting for the viewer.
Here's one from me: 'You have to be aware that everyone else is thinking far too hard about themselves to be thinking about you, whoever you are.' If you want it, you can have it. Once you know that, you can be free.
The idea is more important than the object.
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.
Art comes from everywhere. It's your response to your surroundings.
I think suicide is the most perfect thing you can do in life.
I mean, people listen to music, and they like that, but I think in England, a lot of people don't like contemporary art.
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.
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.
I did a load of medicine cabinets a long time ago and I named them after Sex Pistols songs. I suppose I must be getting old if I'm naming work after Philip Larkin poems.
Sometimes when you're drunk you can see better.
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. Like finding some imaginary computer painter, or a robot who paints.
I think an ashtray is the most fantastically real thing.
Buy art, build a museum, put your name on it, let people in for free.
That's as close as you can get to immortality.
Commercials are so contemporary and up to date that when you're involved in that visual world, you can't really go backwards.
Immortality is really desirable, I guess. In terms of images, anyway.
If the choice is between buying another building or a Pollock, I'd go for the Pollock every time.
You can always tell a great painting, because when you get close there are all these nervous marks.
The spot paintings, the spin paintings, they're all a mechanical way to avoid the actual guy in a room, myself, with a blank canvas.
In an artwork you're always looking for artistic decisions, so an ashtray is perfect. An ashtray has got life and death.
To be an artist is not about fame; it's about art, which is this intangible thing that has got to have lots of integrity, whereas being famous doesn't really take any integrity. But I think you have to admit that you want to be famous, otherwise you can't be an artist. Art and fame together are like a desire to live forever.
I did a butterfly show in Berlin, and we had a guy who's an expert on butterflies; who bred them all and who looks after them all in the space.
Because it's visual art, a lot of it comes from childhood experience but then a lot comes from the visual language - in advertising and stuff like that - which is around us.
But I always liked the fact that you get these totally unacceptable images, but they're taken by a really expensive photographer, with great light, and in terms of the quality of the photograph it's a great photograph, but in terms of imagery it's unacceptable, and I like that contradiction.
Art goes on in your head. If you said something interesting, that might be a title for a work of art and I'd write it down.
What I really like is minimum effort for maximum effect.
But for me, from my point of view, I don't mind if it falls over.
.. if you break the glass you replace the glass, if the sheep falls out you can always get a new sheep.
But I could never make a judgement that something was obscene.
When you've just done it, you're not sure.
But when you've sat with it for a couple of hours and you don't want to do anything more to it, that's a great feeling. It can stand on its own two feet.
For me, art is always a kind of theater.
When I started the spot paintings I made them as an endless series. But I was never serious about it being an endless series. It was just an implied endless series. The theater means you just have to make it look good for that moment in the spotlight.
I always feel like the art's there and I just see it, so it's not really a lot of work.
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.
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.
I love art. It is uplifting.
I don't really have a career plan.
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.
I don't think I'd want my pet in formaldehyde, but I guess in America they would.
It's ridiculous what I do. I can't believe in it - but I have to.
I love color. I feel it inside me. It gives me a buzz.
I can't wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it.
At the moment if I did certain things people would look at it, consider it and then say "f off". But after a while you can get away with things.
I don't see what else you can spend your money on.
.. If you want to own things, art is a pretty good bet.
I think I like big issues, but I don't believe in God or religion.
There's always something you missed or something you didn't notice or somehow you got wrong... I don't really have a beginning.
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.
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.