Marc Quinn was born in London in 1964. He studied History and History of Art at Robinson College, Cambridge. He began to exhibit in the early 1990s and was the first artist represented by Jay Jopling, exhibiting in Charles Saatchi's controversial exhibition Sensation in 1997.
Quinn’s sculpture, paintings and drawings often deal with the distanced relationship we have with our bodies, highlighting how the conflict between the 'natural' and 'cultural' has a grip on the contemporary psyche. In 1999, Quinn began a series of marble sculptures of amputees as a way of re-reading the aspirations of Greek and Roman statuary and their depictions of an idealised whole.
Quinn came to prominence in 1991 with his sculpture Self (1991); a cast of the artist’s head made from eight pints of his own frozen blood. Other critically acclaimed works include Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005), a fifteen-ton marble statue of Alison Lapper - a pregnant disabled woman - exhibited on the fourth plinth at Trafalgar Square in London, and Siren (2008) a solid gold sculpture of the model Kate Moss that was on display at The British Museum, London.
He has shown in many international museums and galleries including Tate Gallery, London (1995), Fondazione Prada, Milan (2000), Institut Océanographique, Monaco (2012) and Fondazioni Georgio Cini (2013).
Throughout his oeuvre, Quinn draws on ideas and themes relating to the human body. A recent exhibition at White Cube, London, featured sculptures addressing themes of cosmetic surgery, gender and transformation that challenge our preconceived perceptions of beauty. Other key subjects include cycles of growth and evolution through topical issues such as genetics and the manipulation of DNA, as well as issues of life and death and identity.
Quinn’s work uses a broad range of materials, both traditional and untraditional. The materiality of the object, in both its elemental composition and surface appearance, is at the heart of Quinn’s work. Marc Quinn is one of the leading artists of his generation. His sculptures, paintings and drawings explore the relationship between art and science, the human body and the perception of beauty, among other things.