This is the first large-scale museum exhibition of the work of Marc Quinn in the Netherlands. The exhibition will display a selection of new and recent work such as ‘The Complete Marbles’, ‘The Big Bang’, ‘DNA portraits’, work from the Flesh series, and a sculpture for which super-model Kate Moss posed.
In 1999 Quinn began on the series entitled ‘The Complete Marbles’, a series of portrait sculptures of people who are missing one or more limbs. The fact that he generated these sculptures in white Italian marble produces an alienating effect. Since the Ancient Greeks, white marble seems to have been reserved for the presentation of an ideal picture of perfect beauty. Nevertheless, white marble sculptures, as handed down to us from antiquity, are often also bruised and battered and miss a limb or two. This is occasionally regarded as an accentuation of perfect beauty rather than a deficiency, as is the case with the missing arms of ‘Venus de Milo’, for example.
A major landmark in Quinn’s career occurred when the marble statue of ‘Alison Lapper Pregnant’ was unveiled on Trafalgar Square in September 2005. The model was the pregnant, disabled artist Alison Lapper. The original life-size version of Alison is on display in this exhibition. This series has strong social undertones and can be regarded as a plea for the emancipation of disabled people.
2001 witnessed the creation of the ‘DNA portraits’, whose basis consists of DNA that has been replicated by means of standard cloning technology. A portrait is thus not a copy of the appearance of the person being portrayed, but is actually his genetic code. It is more than true-to-life, it is genuinely alive. The bronze sculptures in the exhibition are based on popped popcorn. In combination with their title ‘Big Bang Pop’, these works stimulate the discussion from a pop-art perspective on extremely serious topics such as the origins of the universe and the theory of evolution, matters which have again become hot items in society. None of the works presented have been shown in the Netherlands previously. They display the wealth of imagination and layered awareness of one of the most interesting artists of the present day.
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