Lorenzo Quinn: The Daring of the Figure in Contemporary Sculpture

Lorenzo Quinn Balancing Our Worlds 2016

Frieze Art Fair that took place in London until the 9th of October, also presents an additional feature: the Sculpture Park. It is completely free and a great opportunity to view a well-curated survey of Contemporary Sculpture in Regent's Park. However, the human figure is missing with the exception, perhaps, of the Chadwick's piece. Artists of the calibre of Jeff Koons, Antony Gormley and Damien Hirst constantly revisit the figure in their three-dimensional outputs. Lorenzo Quinn – Rome, 1966 – makes the human figure and specially the hands as his main form of expression as if he decided to swim against the current. Quinn is by far one of the most popular artists today with his own public art being scattered around the globe. As he says one his main aims is to connect with the general public in a way that other artists fail and Quinn succeeds in doing so.

Lorenzo Quinn_Holding Up the World_ Green patina and Stainless Steel_2016. Courtesy Lorenzo Quinn and the Halcyon Gallery,

His current show at the Halcyon Gallery in Bond Street, Mayfair, London, which takes place until the 25th of October, is a display of emotions in the continuous search for balance in our lives. Movable sculptures recreates the sense of a playground. Mature new works always pushing his technical skills to the limit to deliver unparalleled beauty and peace. Quinn's pieces evoke and initiate a dialogue of respectful honesty. Special mention deserves the museum quality room with works by Rodin, Quinn's hero, Picasso, Renoir, Degas and Dali, alongside Quinn's sculptures.

Quinn has kind agreed to respond to the following questions:

1. How was your childhood like being brought up between Rome and New York?

New York turned me into an artist. It was an amazing experience. That’s where I really started working as an artist - going down to Soho to the foundry. During that time, Rome was where I lived in the summer. Having grown up in Rome, I really just went back to Italy in summer for vacations, because we missed Italy. But once we moved to New York, we moved to New York. We were not travelling back and forth – I lived in New York for 16 years and that’s where I became an artist and perfected my craft. I went to New York University, The Actor’s Studio, The Academy of Fine Art. In New York, my career started.

2. Where does this obsession with the human figure especially with the hands come from?

I am a communicative artist. I would like people to understand what I am saying. It’s not a monologue – it’s a dialogue and therefore I have to do it in a universal language. Everyone understands certain gestures that are universal and therefore I am able to get my idea through. Of course I do not only work with hands because I also want to have the freedom to develop my craft and evolve through figures. The hands are about people understanding what I would like to say. I also love my art being present around the world and I have been able to also bridge quite a few religions through the use of hands because in some beliefs, the figure is not accepted however the hands are not offensive.

3. You have now settled in Spain. What was the reason to do so? And how do you feel it affects your practice?

I came to Spain 20 years ago – we came to spend a six month period and never left. The quality of life is very good. Spain has just gone through an incredible crisis. So I am very lucky to have the market that I have in London – to work with Halcyon Gallery there. So I think I have the best of both worlds. London is only two hours away. Here in Spain, I have the quality of life. And creating the work here I have the peace – I am not under the stress that you have sometimes living in a large metropolis city. But when I need to meet clients – when I need to do business – I fly over sometimes even for a day and come back at night. Weather here is fantastic and it reflects in my work – my work is more harmonic not as harsh as if I was living in a harsher environment. London is very stimulating – every time I go to London I come back with a lot of ideas. But then I need to absorb those ideas and reflect upon them. And here in Spain I am able to do that better.

Lorenzo Quinn Holding Up the World 2016


Lorenzo Quinn_Balancing Our Worlds_Green patina and Stainless Steel_2016. Courtesy Lorenzo Quinn and the Halcyon Gallery.

4. Where does the inspiration of the show come from?

The inspiration for any of my shows comes from everyday life. It comes from something that I have read or something that I have heard or a conversation that I have had. A book, a movie. Or a particular world event - it may be small or huge. For example, the tsunami of 2004 was an incredibly sad event and that inspired the sculpture The Force of Nature. Then there are other everyday events that inspire other sculptures. So really the sculptures that I am presenting at the show reflect my present state of mind. I will be unveiling a sculpture called Holding Up The World and another called Balancing Our Worlds where I reflect on the two worlds – the female world and the male world with the female world being a round world and the male world being a square world.

For more information about the current show, Lorenzo Quinn and the Halcyon Gallery, please visit its website on: www.halcyongallery.com

 

Interview by:  Lorenzo Belenguer

 

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