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Born in Bristol, in 1965, Hirst studied at Goldsmith's College, London. Hirstís exhibit of a cow and calf sawn in half and pickled in formaldehyde was received unfavourably by critics and public alike, but made him a household name overnight. In the late 90s, Hirstís work has fetched large sums of money. the most expensive piece so far has been £188,500 (April 1993) for a medicine cabinet filled with bottles of medicines entitled God.. In October 1993 however, he received a setback when his 'Alone yet Together', a cabinet containing 100 fish suspended in formaldehyde, failed to sell at auction in London.

The work is intended to parody Victorian scientists' specimens.This was the first of his four formaldehyde Cabinets to be auctioned, and the bidding was stopped at £85,000. Later the cabinet was sold for a figure believed to be near the original expected price. It was estimated that each of the four cabinets would reach something in the region of £l00,000-150,000. Hirstís Loss of Memory is worse than Death, a steel cage enclosing formaldehyde containers, a mask, gloves and a syringe also failed to sell when the bidding was stopped at £55,000 (it was expected to make £80,000 -120,000). Hirst's work is controversial and he is regarded by many as a self-publicist rather than an artist.

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