News: 2014

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Damien Hirst's autobiography to be published by Viking Penguin in Autumn 2015

8 April 2014

The book will be co-written with James Fox, who wrote White Mischief and also co-wrote Keith Richard’s bestselling 2010 memoir, Life.

An early passport photograph of Hirst, who was born in 1965 in Bristol and grew up in Leeds. In 1984 he moved to London, where he worked in construction before studying for a BA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths college from 1986 to 1989.

Image © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2014

Viking Penguin have announced that they will publish Hirst's autobiography, co-written by James Fox, in Autumn 2015. The book will cover Hirst’s early life in Leeds, and his development as an artist at school and at Goldsmiths college, London. It was whilst in his second year at Goldsmiths, that Hirst conceived and curated ‘Freeze’ – a group exhibition in three phases. The student exhibition is commonly acknowledged to have been the launching point not only for Hirst, but for a generation of British artists.

This morning Fox discussed the project on BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'He grew up in a pretty bad situation, with his mother, and he and his gang - many of whom became YBA artists, spent half their time housebreaking, stealing, criminality, and the rest of their time indulging their passion for art, which started very early on in their years... I found that completely fascinating, moving, the idea of a saving connection to art. The fearlessness of Damien, his ability to take on authority, to never say anything can't be done, to break all the rules. That very much comes from that background.'

On the occasion of the announcement, Hirst stated: ‘I'm really pleased to be working with Penguin on my autobiography, they are a very cool and creative publisher with a huge amount of energy and enthusiasm. They care about all their readers from top to bottom and are not afraid of pushing the boundaries’. Venetia Butterfield, Viking’s Publishing Director added: 'We are thrilled and hugely excited to be publishing Damien Hirst's exceptional story. He is a highly significant cultural figure and this will be a momentous publishing event.' Whilst agent Ed Victor said: ‘Having represented the autobiographies of some of the biggest rock stars in the world – Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and Pete Townsend – I have every confidence that this superb book will equal in critical acclaim and commercial success those era-defining books.’

Read more about the artist.