Marc Quinn and Figurative Sculpture

Kiss by Marc Quinn

In his most recent series of sculptures, Quinn uses the traditional medium of marble to create works depicting people who have lost or are born without limbs. The sculptures were carved to exact instructions by stone masons, using perfect white marble.

The works show exact likenesses of the sitters, who were either damaged in the womb or through accident, war or illness. The perfection of the marble and precise replication of the body make these sculptures as moving as any classical artefact worn through the passage of time.

Kiss forces the viewer to address their prejudices. What is perfection? What is beauty? How do you feel about disability or illness?

By making reference to ancient Greek statues, the marble figures challenge the idea that we view ‘damaged’ bodies in classical art as being beautiful, whilst rejecting imperfection in real life.

Kiss 2001, Marc Quinn 
© Marc Quinn / Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust

Greek Marble Statuette, 200-100 BC
© The Trustees of The British Museum

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