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- 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.
- Spalding, Julian. "Why it's OK not to like modern art", The Times, 8 May 2003.
- Hirst quoted by Julian Stallabrass in 1990.
- I was with this guy who was a plasterer, and at lunchtime he was eating a stuffed heart . . . I was thinking, "I'm not like these guys. I'm an artist." And I saw a bee come over to some flowers and get all the pollen out. I was looking and thinking, "How does it do that?" And then the guy who was eating the stuffed heart said, "How does that bee do that?"
- Beckett, Andy. "Arts: A Strange Case", The Independent, 12 November 1995
- Talking about when he worked as a builder after college
- I just wanted to find out where the boundaries were. So far I've found there aren't any. I just wanted to be stopped, and no one will stop me.
- Kuhn, Nicola, "You can puff all you like Damien, but the wind's gone out of Britart", The Guardian, 16 March 1999.
- The best spot painting you can have by me is one painted by Rachel.
- On the Way to Work, p. 82, Faber and Faber, 2001.
- Most of Hirst's "spot paintings" are executed by assistants.
- I started taking cocaine and drink ... I turned into a babbling fucking wreck.
- On the Way to Work, Faber and Faber, 2001.
- Great art – or good art – is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don't think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different. There's boring conceptual art and there's boring traditional art. Great art is if you can't stop thinking about it, then it becomes a memory.
- In: Elizabeth Day Damien Hirst: 'Art is childish and childlike', The Guardian, 26 September 2010