Marc QUINN (b. 1964)
Bill Waltier (Blind from birth)
203/4 x 93/4 w x 83/4 in. (53 x 24,5 x 22,5 cm)
Incised signature and number to the underside “Marc Quinn 1/3”.
This work is number 1 from the edition of 3.
-White Cube, London
THE CLASSICAL NOW, 2 March – 28 April 2018, King’s College London:
In Mirrors for the Blind I made portrait heads of Anna Cannings and Bill Waltier, who have both been blind from birth. When they touched their portraits it was the first time they had ‘seen’ themselves in the way they ‘see’ others, with touch. To me these portraits are linked to the DNA portraits, by way of which we are the first generation of people who are able to ‘read’ the instructions to make ourselves. If the original marble sculptures were, in a way, taking the fragmented statuary literally, by finding models whose real bodies were like that, these were taking the blind eyes of Roman portrait busts literally and making them mean what they seem to say.
Marc Quinn, Recent Sculptures Catalogue, Groninger Museum, 2006
Marc Quinn about his marble sculptures:
These marble sculptures were made with traditional marble masons in Pietrasanta, Italy. They are partly inspired by the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum and other classical, fragmented or damaged classical statues such as the Venus de Milo at the Louvre. Neoclassical in appearance, they present images of ‘incomplete’ bodies, of people who have either lost limbs due to accident or who were born with a disability. By adopting the language of idealism, they relate to images of ‘idealised’ beauty that Neoclassicism sought to represent but also highlight the fact that while the notion of an incomplete body is something that is celebrated and acceptable within the context of art history, it is not always so in real life. These works explore the contradictions between our outside appearance and inner being, celebrating imperfection and the beauty of different kinds of bodies as well as the strength and vitality of the human spirit.