Marc Quinn is writing on a diary. Unlike most diaries, his is less on the memoir side, and far more an Instagram inspired ode to the Coronavirus era.
Quinn, perhaps best known for freezing ten pints of his own blood into a bust of his own head, had confessed that during the pandemic he has found pieces “coming out of his ears”. Hiss latest work, the so-called, “viral paintings” comprise of screenshots of news stories and Instagram posts overlaid with splashes of oil paint.
In his own words, Quinn notes that: “Being an artist, the only way I can cope with reality is to turn it into art,” he continues: “That’s how I understand the world and digest it. In the past people have made paintings to commemorate historical moments.”
“Now we’ve got a historical moment happening every 12 hours, every one hour, so it’s, how do you react to that as an artist? How do you make history painting now about probably the most historical event we’re ever going to live through?”
The pieces act as an extension of a pre-existing series he has made over the past decade which he refers to as History Paintings. Currently intended to go on show next year, the series acts as an examination of order and chaos through throwing paint atop news stories about revolutions and riots.
He notes that his feelings towards the current situation change all the time. In his opinion, his emotions change constantly from “Admiration, frustration, anger … It is an emotional washing machine. In one day you go through all the emotions. It is a great time to make art as well as a challenging time to be a human being.
“All the people I usually work with are working from home so I’ve gone back to basics. It’s just me, the canvas, some paint … and quiet.”
Quinn hopes to donate a fraction of each sale to WHO and the NHS. He has amassed a collection of 20 thus far, and has no plans to stop, though he confesses: “The studio is full. I don’t know what to do with them all.”