Just like we learn in grade 09 -at least, I learned it in grade 09- Art is an expression of the human mind. It’s different to everyone, and it can leave you confused or sometimes, in awe. But what if a piece of art left you stunned..because it was like nothing you had ever seen before? Especially if that type of art was a self portrait, but was not as simple as just drawing your own face on a piece of paper. Today, we are going to talk about a different type of self portrait, which was titled “Self“. Ever heard of it? It’s not exactly a new piece. If not or even if you have, READ ON:
Back in the early 90s, British artist Marc Quinn started one of the most bizarre art projects in history – making detailed self-portraits.. from his own frozen blood. You read that right, his own frozen blood. He has actually been making a “new one” every five year or so since then. Yes, I will admit they’re strange, but there is actually a reason behind why he makes them!
According to Marc Quinn, he created his “Self” portrait series as a way of recording the changes of his face throughout the years of his life, and if you look closely enough at the four blood portraits [which I’ll share below] he has made so far, you’ll notice that his face has in fact matured over time. [although that is to be expected] You would think that he could have used a more common material for his artworks such as paint or something more solid; but realistically, the message wouldn’t have been as powerful as using his own blood. As said by Scientific American magazine,
“by crafting these heads out of his own blood, Quinn reconnects us to the the fact that in the fullness of time, no artist’s attempt at immortality through self-portraiture will prevail. And of course the series will presumably end in the course of the artist’s life, so the artwork’s time-dimension has a death of sorts as well.”
For each of his frozen portraits, Quinn claims that he uses anywhere between four and five liters of his own blood, which is extracted over a period of five months. [thankfully, not all at once!] After creating a detailed mold of his face, he then froze the blood to create his “portraits.” As expected, they are to be maintained in refrigeration units at a constant temperature of -15 degrees Celsius, to prevent them from melting. His latest “Self” sculpture is held alongside other famous portraits at the National Portrait Gallery in England, while some of the others have been actually been bought by foreign galleries. [or private collectors] Quinn has also said he likes to employ biology and genetics in his works, in order to expresses how art and science work together. As an artist, he has worked with a variety of other more “conventional” materials, such as glass, gold and ice. Be sure to check out his other “Self” portraits, down below!
Can you imagine making a self-portrait of yourself..made of your very own frozen blood? What do You think about Marc Quinn‘s “art”? Is it an awesome new spin on a familiar concept, or is it something that is considered too creepy to be in a museum? [or even bought] Let me know Your thoughts down below! If you want to check out Quinn‘s other artwork, be sure to check out his website as well!
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