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“We live in such a disembodied world – I like making things that move between the virtual and the real.” – Marc Quinn

Marc Quinn is a leading British contemporary artist. Together with fellow artists Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, he was one of the trailblazers of the Young British Artists movement in the 1990s, redefining the creation and experience of contemporary art.

Born in 1964, Quinn graduated from Cambridge in 1986 with a degree in History and History of Art. Following the success of his first solo exhibition in 1988 at the Jay Joplin/Otis Gallery he was selected for the Sydney Biennale in 1992 and went on to show at the Saatchi Gallery (1993), ‘Time Machine’ at The British Museum (1994), ‘Thinking Print’ at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1996) and ‘Sensation’ at the Royal Academy (1997).

Quinn gravitates towards unconventional materials that address his “preoccupation with the mutability of the body and the dualisms that define human life”. His ‘Self’ (1991), a bust of the artist’s head comprising 10 pints of his own blood kept at sub-zero temperatures, is arguably the purest form of self-portrait, made both by and of the artist. He produces a new edition every five years; the change in appearance provides an interesting study in decay and comments on Man’s dependence on modern infrastructure, as the sculpture’s continued existence relies on a constant flow of electricity. The artwork launched him to fame when it first appeared and has become one of the most enduring images of the YBA movement.

Marc Quinn has produced other critically-acclaimed works including ‘Garden’ (2000), a full botanical garden frozen and displayed at the Fondazione Prada, Milan; ‘A Genomic Portrait: Sir John Sulston’ (2001), commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery, a unique collaboration between artist and sitter which challenged perceptions of conceptual representation; ‘Evolution’ (2005), comprising ten sculptures depicting human embryos throughout the stages of development, and a series of sculptures featuring Kate Moss in yogic pose, the most famous of which being ‘Siren’ (2008), a solid gold sculpture displayed at The British Museum.

Quinn’s photo-realist paintings of the human iris are equally highly-acclaimed. Painted on a round canvas, the iris is depicted at such close range that it becomes virtually abstract. The pupil appears as a hole in the centre of a fine pattern of colourful lines, which are meticulously created using an airbrush. “In the middle you have that black hole of the pupil [and] all of the mystery and uncertainty of life. It’s a very profound expression of the ambiguity which is at the heart of our existence” – Marc Quinn.

In his photo-realist studies of flowers and fruit, Quinn takes the traditional art form of still-life painting and subverts it to create paintings which resemble close-up photographs. The artworks are large in scale and dramatically coloured, appearing almost like film negatives, reflecting the unnatural condition of these nature-based images.

Marc Quinn has exhibited internationally in prestigious museums and galleries including Somerset House, Tate Gallery, British Museum, Royal Academy and National Portrait Gallery in London; The Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as establishments worldwide including Milan, Seoul, Singapore, Tel Aviv, Doha and Miami.

Marc Quinn also enjoys close connections to the fashion world. Projects range from collaborations with designer fashion labels Dior and Vionnet, to a series of unique iris portraits created for Harper’s Bazaar, featuring Stella McCartney, Sarah Burton and Karl Lagerfeld.

Marc Quinn lives and works in London.

Marc Quinn News

Maddox Gallery makes debut appearance at Art Market Hamptons 2018

Maddox Gallery is delighted to be exhibiting at Art Market Hamptons for the very first time. From the 5th to 8th July,...