Marc Quinn’s Latest Self

The National Gallery of Australia’s current exhibit, HyperReal takes a look at the history of hyperrealism in art that began in the 1960s and has evolved into the twenty-first century.

A highlight of the exhibit is Marc Quinn’s most recent sculpture Self, a self-portrait that documents the changes of Quinn’s face as he ages.

Quinn has made a Self  sculpture every five years since 1991. He spends five months collecting more than ten pints of his own blood, pouring into a mold of his head and freezing it in a specially built case filled with silicone.

Marc Quinn, born in London, the son of a potter and a physicist (who, Quinn says, actually worked on experiments that involved freezing), studied art history at Cambridge and became fascinated with Rembrandt, who created nearly one hundred self-portraits.

Quinn’s five existing Self portraits, by the artist and of  the artist, are on display in venues around the world. The 2006 version of Self  is part of the collection of the National Gallery of London.

“It’s like artwork on life support,” he says, “and I’m still alive, so it’s about the miraculous power the human body has to reproduce itself.”

The HyperReal exhibit at Australia’s National gallery runs through February 18, 2018.

Stealth Kate

When Marc Quinn observed people in the British Museum admiring fragmented ancient statues, he wondered how the same viewers would react if actual people, with the same missing parts, were to walk into the gallery. Most of the art lovers reactions, he thought, would not be the same. “It was interesting to me,” Quinn said, “to see what is acceptable in art, but unacceptable in life.”

This led Quinn to create a series of marble sculptures, using models who were missing limbs.  “As I made the series of works,” he said, “I realised that they were also about what a beautiful body is, and how narrow our vision of that is, and about the connection between inside and outside.”

Quinn continued to explore the perception of body image and perception. Since 2006 he has made studies of English supermodel, Kate Moss.

“Human beings often create images, begin to worship them and then forget the images were initially invented by them.” he said, “They are left with an abstract image that is impossible to measure up to. This is the basis of all celebrity and religious imagery.”

What Quinn says of his depiction of Moss is, “This is not a portrait of a person, it’s a portrait of an image twisted by our collective desires.”

The Blue Planet

Just like fingerprints, the iris is one of the body’s most individual parts, another way that Quinn has used the body’s unique biological features to create rare and unique portraits.

Quinn created the series from photographs he took with a special close-up lens.

Marc Quinn’s Works for Sale at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Stealth Kate, Blue Planet or any of the other fine art work for sale at VFA.

See More Marc Quinn Artwork for Sale

Bloomberg News Marc Quinn on Brilliant Ideas August 3, 2016.