Damien Hirst: Not Just For Adults

Damien Hirst, the greatest among the Young British Artists (YBA), has centered his 20-year career on one goal: to have people rethink the life-death continuum (with more emphasis on the latter). Not exactly kid friendly material, but put a child in front of his magnum opus, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living—the famous formaldehyde shark—and you’ll likely hear a loud “Cool!”

One could argue that the artist’s retrospective at Tate Modern (opening on April 4th) may not be appropriate for younger audiences, but let’s not forget that any form of artistic expression can be fun. Hirst shouldn’t be reduced to just weird embalmed animals—kids can enjoy his bright, multicolored paintings of butterflies, a skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds (For the Love of God, 2007), fun spot paintings, and the clinical (no pun intended) Pharmacy installation of 1992. Curious kids, this one’s for you—under mom and dad’s watch, of course