Artist Biography - Marc Quinn
Marc Quinn was born in London in 1964, where he continues to live and work. The artist studied both history and the history of art at the prestigious Robinson College in Cambridge. During his early years, Quinn worked as an assistant to the sculptor Barry Flanagan and learnt different techniques from the artist. He received recognition early in his career and became the first a...rtist to be represented by founder of White Cube and art dealer, Jay Jopling, in the early 1990s.
Quinn belongs to the Young British Artists (YBA's) movement, which became famous in 1997 through the legendary Sensation exhibition of works from Charles Saatchi's collection. However, Quinn was not represented in the Damien Hirst's famous Freeze exhibition in 1988, which brought the YBAs together for the first time, although they had a good friendship and had recently shared a flat with the artist.
Marc Quinn came to prominence in 1991 with his sculpture Self (1991); a cast of the artist’s head made from eight pints of his own frozen blood. Quinn was the first artist represented by Jay Jopling and his work went on to be exhibited alongside other YBA artists at Charles Saachi’s 1997 exhibition Sensation.
In April, 2005, Self was bought by an American collector for £1.5m. His next important piece in terms of public profile was the Frozen Garden. The artist made the piece for Miuccia Prada in the year 2000. A whole garden full of plants which could never grow together kept in cryogenic suspension, "Garden" seems to anticipate many of the environmental themes which have become so important in the forth coming years.
In 1999, Quinn began a series of marble sculptures of amputees as a way of re-reading the aspirations of Greek and Roman statuary and their depictions of an idealised whole. Other critically acclaimed works include Siren (2008) a solid gold sculpture of the model Kate Moss that was on display at The British Museum and Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), a fifteen-ton marble statue of Alison Lapper, a pregnant disabled woman – exhibited on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square in London.
Marc Quinn’s sculptures, paintings and drawings delve into relationships between art and science, the human body and the perception of beauty. This often serves to highlight the conflict between the “natural” and “cultural” and how these ideas are conceptualised in contemporary thought. Other key subjects include cycles of growth, nature and evolution through topical issues such as genetics and the manipulation of DNA, as well as issues of life and death and identity. Quinn’s work uses a broad range of materials including tradional and the most modern of practice from Traditional marble sculpture to 3D scanning.
Quinn holds place as one of the most commercially successful artists in the United Kingdom. He has consistently donated much of his money from art sales to charities helping refugees, the homeless, cancer and environmental protection, as well as accepts many commissions or auction projects in the name of charity.
He has held many exhibitions across the world in international museums and galleries including Tate Gallery, London (1995), Fondazione Prada, Milan (2000), Institut Océanographique, Monaco (2012) and Fondazioni Georgio Cini (2013).