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All Quotes by author - Damien Hirst
" Artists are like everybody else. "
" But I think it's more that when you're young, you're invincible, you're immortal - or at least you think you are. The possibilities are limitless, you're inventing the future. Then you get older and suddenly you have a history. It's fixed. You can't change anything. I find that a bit disturbing, to be honest. "
" But whenever I look at the question of how to live, the answer's always staring me in the face. I'm already doing it. "
" Even as a kid in drawing class, I had real ambition. I wanted to be the best in the class, but there was always some other feller who was better; so I thought, 'It can't be about being the best, it has to be about the drawing itself, what you do with it.' That's kind of stuck with me. "
" 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. "
" I gave up painting by 16. I secretly thought I would have been Rembrandt by then. "
" I have always been aware that you have to get people listening before you can change their minds. Any artist's big fear is being ignored, so if you get debate, that's great. "
" In an artwork you're always looking for artistic decisions, so an ashtray is perfect. An ashtray has got life and death. "
" I remember when you used to have your profession on your passport and I always thought that being a painter was the best one to be, because my heroes were Goya and Francis Bacon. "
" I think an ashtray is the most fantastically real thing. "
" I think suicide is the most perfect thing you can do in life. "
" It's amazing what you can do with an E in A-Level art, a twisted imagination and a chainsaw. "
" I used to believe I was going to live forever. And then you suddenly become aware that you're not. "
" I've had laser eye surgery and I don't wear glasses any more, so people just go, 'You're not Damien Hirst.' I don't get recognized on the street. "
" I was brought up Catholic, and I felt the power of art from a very young age - seeing the brutality of all those images of flayed apostles and tortured saints was a pretty strong introduction. "
" 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. "
" Kids are naturally gifted at art from a very young age. The problem is when they get older and become self-conscious. The process should always be fun, though. "
" Making art, good art, is always a struggle. It can make you happy when you pull it off. There's no better feeling. It's beauteous. But it's always about hard work and inspiration and sweat and good ideas. "
" 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. "
" No, I don't believe in genius. I believe in freedom. I think anyone can do it. Anyone can be like Rembrandt. "
" Painting is so poetic, while sculpture is more logical and scientific and makes you worry about gravity. "
" 'Painting like a child' isn't a negative for me... it's something only great artists can really achieve. The childlike quality of some of Picasso's drawings is precisely what makes them so masterful and extraordinary; the ability to express complete visions, feelings and portraits through a continuous line. "
" People don't like contemporary art, but all art starts life as contemporary - I can't really see a difference. "
" Sometimes when you're drunk you can see better. "
" So smoking is the perfect way to commit suicide without actually dying. I smoke because it's bad, it's really simple. "
" 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. "
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