Monday, February 11, 2008

Marc Quinn

I am typically really interested in the interesection between art and science. Recently I was listening to a BBC Front Row podcast that featured an interview with YBA (Young British Artist) Marc Quinn. Quinn's work almost always seems to deal with some aspect of the body and often with DNA. He has said that he finds genetics interesting because essentially they are instructions for creating the human machine, and basically we now have instructions in how to make ourselves.

Quinn originally came on the art scene in 1991 with a sculpture of his bust/head created entirely out of 9 pints of his own blood that he had extracted over a five month period. In a different kind of portrait, Quinn paid tribute to John Sulston by constructing a "portrait" made by the standard methods of DNA cloning. John Sulston won a Nobel Prize for being a leading contributor to the Human Genome Project. Funnily enough, this piece is actually on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London even though it is a bit of joke since it looks delicate jewelry rather than a person.

Quinn's other famous works include the huge marble statue of Alison Lapper in Trafalgar Square. Lapper was born with shortened limbs and the sculpture was done when she was eight months pregnant. The Lapper sculpture is a part of a series of sculptures of amputees and the disabled. Quinn uses white Italian marble because the material is normally associated with ideal Western forms. Quinn has also stated that he thinks the "disabled" are the most underrepresented group of people in art.

His newer work includes a garden of plants kept in cryogenic suspension and a series of fetal sculptures on display now in London.

1 comment:

Saxon Baird said...

so we have talked about quinn a bit already. However, I came to a conclusion that while I am still very in love with his work, I feel that I am more attracted to his concepts rather than the actual aesthetics of his pieces.
Which is strange because while I am dearly in love with Anya Gallaccio's concepts, I actually find the aesthetics of her work MORE appealing. I could write essays on the idea of decaying art. However, the way she presents her pieces I believe really take into consideration one's senses beyond the visual. She wants to make her pieces to be appealing and conceptually interesting.

Both are highly interesting nevertheless...and I wish I could make out with both...or at least drink a gin and tonic with.