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Sotheby’s MayDay Charity Auction 2020 picture

New series Far but Near, Lockdown Irises premiered at Sotheby’s 2020 MayDay Charity Auction. The auction lots were in the form of online experiences and 100% of sale profits are being donated to help the International Rescue Committee mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus in vulnerable communities. The series is an evolution of Quinn’s renowned iris paintings, which are collectively titled We Share Our Chemistry with the Stars.

In the current era of social distancing measures, people cannot meet in person and instead interact constantly online which creates a paradoxical sense of closeness at a distance: "far but near." Far but Near, Lockdown Irises is borne out of this moment, with each painting produced through a ‘virtual sitting.’ The sitter sends Quinn an image of their eye which the artist then treats with a particular pixelation technique, resulting in an image which appears in focus when viewed from a distance and abstract when close up.

The first print from Far but Near, Lockdown Irises was sold as part of an online experience in which Quinn will give the lot winner a Zoom studio visit, and following a virtual sitting they will receive their personalised artwork in the post. Other MayDay lots were given by Hilary Clinton, Sting, Sir Patrick Stewart, Johnny Depp,Heston Blumenthal, Sacha Baron Cohen and David Blaine. Sotheby’s auctioned 24 experiences, raising a total of $451,375 to support the International Rescue Committee’s COVID-19 response in the US and Europe.

Quinn has a continued relationship with the International Rescue Commission through his upcoming not-for-profit project Our Blood, of which the IRC is its global charity partner.

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