(b Bristol, 7 June 1965). British sculptor, painter, and designer, whose flair for self-publicity has helped him become probably the most famous and controversial British artist of his generation (Tracey Emin being his only serious rival in this regard). While still a student at Goldsmiths College, London, he made a name for himself by organizing a exhibition of student work (‘Freeze’, 1988). From his youth he had a fascination with death, and his most famous work is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991, priv. coll.), consisting of a dead tiger-shark balanced and weighted so that it floats in preserving fluid in a large tank made of glass and steel. In 1995 he was awarded the Turner Prize. The work he showed at the exhibition of shortlisted candidates' work at the Tate Gallery was Mother and Child Divided, consisting of four tanks containing the severed halves of a cow and calf.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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