ARTIST’S FROZEN SCULPTURE GOES ON SHOW.
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 10 September 2009 19.12 BST. Mark Brown, arts correspondent
Anyone of a squeamish disposition may want to avoid a certain room at the National Portrait Gallery, which today displayed its latest, £300,000, acquisition: 10 pints of the artist Marc Quinn’s frozen blood in a self-portrait cast of his head, sitting zen-like on a concealed refrigeration unit.
Self (2006) is one of Quinn’s “blood heads”, among Brit Art’s most striking images. Quinn said: “For me, it was always about making the ultimate portrait that had the form of me but that was also made of me. It is sculpture pushed to the absurd, logical extreme.”
This is the fourth blood head, made using blood removed by Quinn’s doctor a pint at a time, every six weeks. The artist intends to make a head every five years to document his ageing. Not that it is entirely accurate. “Life casting does make you look older,” said a far fresher-faced Quinn.