Monday, April 6, 2009

What the Saatchi Gallery Isn't Showing

There are degrees of being a provocateur, I suppose. Charles Saatchie has certainly relished being one. But the sheer outrageousness that defined the Saatchie Gallery five years ago when it was nestled next to the Dali Gallery and London Eye is no longer present in Chelsea.

In particular, Marc Quinn's "Self" is no longer showing. This is his self portrait done in 9 pints of his own blood, frozen within a transparent mask, and sitting on top of a refrigeration unit. (Which, word has it, was turned off at least once.) And did I say that the blood was rumored (or should I say "rumoured") to be HIV positive? (It was not.)

Anyway, this is the world of the YBA - Young British Artist. And it seems past, not present.

Quinn's sculpture is not confined to the organic. He has a series of Kate Bush in bronze, though painted white. Here is one. This is part of the "Sphinx" series. Ms. Bush is in quite good shape, but Quinn had to hire a professional contortionist to get the particular effects that he wanted.

He now is working on a furniture line, done in marble, a bit pricey, but interesting.

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