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Crowds gather in front of Gagosian Gallery on W 21st Street in NYC for the opening of “The Complete Spot Paintings,” Jan. 12, 2012
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Damien Hirst

by Jerry Saltz

Damien Hirst is the Elvis of the English art world, its ayatollah, deliverer and big-thinking entrepreneurial potty-mouthed prophet and front man. Hirst synthesizes punk, Pop Art, Jeff Koons, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Bacon and Catholicism. He’s the ­working-class hero who as a 23-year-old art student at the University of London’s Goldsmiths college organized “Freeze,” an exhibition of his artwork and that of 15 school chums.


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