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TRANSMISSIONS of

LIFE

Lorenzo Quinn

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Lorenzo Quinn —

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TRANSMISSIONS of

LIFE

Lorenzo Quinn

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Cover: Finding Love  Bronze,,100cm


Lorenzo Quinn —

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Finding Love  Aluminium,,50cm


— Transmissions of Life

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Finding Love  Bronze,,50cm


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During Love  Aluminium,,50cm


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During Love  Bronze,,50cm


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During Love  Bronze,,100cm


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— Transmissions of Life

biography We all try to maintain a precarious balance between our work and the rest of our lives, but perhaps might cast a wistful glance in the direction of the truly creative individual – someone who is free to think and dream and visualize and then to shake the cocktail of all that mental effort to produce something unique. The work of Lorenzo Quinn might suggest just such a labouring sybarite. But Quinn, who is 41 and lives near Barcelona, in reality rarely feels able to revel in his position. “I am incredibly ambitious in a creative way, but I am not happy with where I am. My wife says: ‘I never really see you totally happy.’ She is right. An artist, to my mind, can never be totally satisfied. It is up to other people to recognize your masterpieces. She’s very honest – the most honest person I have ever met. Even if I try to camouflage things, I can’t fool her. Our minds usually coincide, but sometimes they don’t, and I need – and want – a devil’s advocate.” There has been one defining change of emphasis in Quinn’s life. It came about in 1986, when he realized that the path he had envisaged for himself as a painter, a surrealist, was never going to accommodate his energy. Of course, the constant comparison of the 20-year-old’s style to that of Salvador Dalí’s irked him, yet he began to suspect even then that he wouldn’t be able to paint in a way that would be meaningfully different from the work of other artists who had gone before him. Nonetheless, he studied at New York’s American Academy of Fine Arts and subsequently gained invaluable experience in workshops and foundries in the United States and Europe. At the age of 21, he decided that his destiny lay in the field of sculpture. He recalls vividly the time in 1989 when he felt that he had finally created his first genuine piece of art. “I was in my studio on West 64th Street, near Central Park, and the event is still etched clearly on my mind,” he says. “I had made a torso from Michelangelo’s drawing of Adam. I’d done a good job, you know, but it

was an artisan’s job. I had simply made a three-dimensional copy of someone else’s work and I said; ‘No, I can’t do that!’ I had an idea and I started chiselling away, and Eve came out of Adam’s body. I had made Adam & Eve. It had started as a purely academic exercise, yet it had become an artwork.” Sculpture was to consume him from that point on; it was the niche he had been seeking, the conduit through which he could convey simple yet potent messages to the onlooker. For he claims that his art is primarily to do with communication. “It’s true. I dedicate my time to communication. The message is much more important than the art. I have a lot of things I want to say to the world and I do this through my work. To me, sculpture is never just figurative or decorative – the message behind the work is what matters. My work is easy to understand – I want that. Critics can sometimes be against it, but I don’t agree that if something’s accessible it must be bad. I don’t want people to have to sit down and think too much in front of it. I make art for myself and for people who wish to come along for a ride through my dreams. How we live our own lives is of the utmost importance, and most of my work has to do with values and emotions. We live in this society of consumers, and we forget to live for the moment.” Lorenzo Quinn was born in Rome in 1966. His father was the late actor Anthony Quinn and his mother the costume designer Iolanda Addolori, Anthony Quinn’s second wife. At the time of Lorenzo’s birth, his father’s acting career was at its peak. He already had two Oscars to his name, one awarded in 1952 for his portrayal of the brother of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata! and the second in 1956 for his part in Lust for Life. Gina Lollobrigida, who played Esmeralda to Quinn’s Quasimodo in the 1956 movie Notre Dame de Paris, later said of him: “You could learn from him, from his humility. He loved life and he profited from it until the end.” These details of Anthony Quinn’s incredible life and times are not merely tangential; the father had a profound impact on his son Lorenzo on

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several levels. For one thing, Anthony worked as a painter before acting became his full-time profession. He was a student of Frank LloydWright for a time, and it was the famous architect who encouraged him to take a serious interest in acting. “He wasn’t as sure of himself as an artist as he was as an actor,” Lorenzo Quinn says today. “He always regarded painting as a hobby.” And there was a tremendous bond of love between them – Anthony Quinn adored all his offspring, but was particularly proud of Lorenzo’s prodigious talent. Indeed, the two of them have shared what is, by any standards, an extremely unusual artistic achievement: they have both played the roles of great painters on the big screen. In Vincente Minnelli’s 1956 picture Lust For Life Anthony Quinn won a second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his interpretation of the role of Paul Gauguin.

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Lorenzo Quinn also enjoyed a brief film career, one of the highlights of which, aged 24, was to play the young Salvador Dalí in the 1990 biopic Dalí. It received critical acclaim, with one reviewer describing Quinn’s role as ‘a very likeable portrayal of Dalí as a young man... When meeting with strangers, reporters, or people whose chains he just wanted to yank, Dalí adopted an odd, distorted way of speaking that was barely intelligible, and Quinn reproduces this very well. If I hadn’t seen film of the real Dalí speaking this way, I would have suspected it was a fanciful invention of the film-makers. Quinn shows great charisma in this role.’ This was a notice that would please any young actor. Yet Quinn subsequently turned his back on the profession. “I didn’t like it,” he says. “I suppose I liked the fame but, of course, it was very superficial. I decided to get out of it. Again, my wife influenced me; she didn’t like me being an actor and that was part of what helped me decide to concentrate on my art.” Having had a famous father (Anthony Quinn died in 2001 at the age of 86) has proved a doubleedged sword. “I loved and adored my father and I am extremely proud of my name. For all the superficial things in life, having a famous father has been an asset. But for the more difficult aspects of life it’s been hard, because people expect so much more from you. They create preconceptions which are mostly incorrect. Last year, I found myself in a part of the world where the people I was working with had no idea who my father was, and that was fantastic because I knew that they really wanted me as an artist. I was much more insecure about it when I was younger; now, I figure you can’t live off a name for 20 years – there has to be something else behind it.”

Quinn has cited Michelangelo, Bernini, Carpaux and Rodin as among his inspirations. He is a frequent visitor to Italy where he soaks up as much of the influence of the great masters as he can. Collectors love his work, and this has led to many commissions from important and revered organizations, none more so than the Vatican, who asked him to sculpt the likeness of Saint Anthony in commemoration of the saint’s 800th birthday. “It was really quite amazing,” Lorenzo recalls. “Galileo had been judged in the same room in Padua where I was to present my proposal; both the implications of this and the pressure on me to meet high expectations were enormous and frightening. I brought the drawing and showed it to the cardinal, who said ‘Yes, yes, that’s fine, do it,’ but really he was almost trying to interest me in the ‘script’ of Saint Anthony’s story. It was an incredible experience.” Quinn’s sculpture was subsequently blessed by the Pope in Saint Peter’s Square before being placed in Padua’s Basilica del Santo in 1995. Another venture, just as important to him but in an entirely different way, is his ongoing project The Globe Of Life. Quinn has been working on this for many years: 100 plaques, of which 20 have been cast, will unite in a 10-metre sphere to represent his interpretation of the 100 most important moments in history. As he attempts to realize this monumental sculpture he says, “I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s just a dream or else wishful thinking. It isn’t commercial and is not intended for profit – but I believe it could really help the world. “It symbolizes my preoccupation with where the world is going – you know, towards this fragmentation, this independence of tiny parts of it. But the point is, despite colours of skin, we are all the same species. Whatever religion you have, then you have faith. If we knew a meteor was coming and we had to put all six billion of us on to spaceships to save ourselves, that really would put our lives into perspective. Yet we are still killing each other and having wars...” Lorenzo tails off; The Globe Of Life can be, for him, as acutely painful as it is upliftingly positive. Indeed, the genesis of his work lurches in his own mind from flashes of excitement to the lengthy process – and sometimes tedium – of creating a piece. He seems, initially, reluctant to elaborate, but then opens up with gusto. “The inspiration comes within a millisecond,” he says. “If I am talking to a client about what they envisage, I will say ‘come on, give me some adjectives’ – but I already


— Transmissions of Life

see the finished project. Then I have to spend several months making it. I might have an idea for a sculpture, but then I start asking myself: ‘What does this figure say?’ They have to have a meaning. It’s very important that people understand, but I want their response to be immediate. With [my piece] In Perspective, it’s very clear... We are faced with decisions every single day and we have to put things into perspective and realize how small the world really is, and enjoy life.” Another recent piece, Perfect Story, is, he says disarmingly, without any hidden depths. “It’s about turning your whole life into an absolutely perfect story – as simple as that.” Quinn’s sculptures are usually conceived in written form. This is the reason he displays poems alongside each sculpture. “They are a whole, one could not exist without the other. I am inspired to sculpt by observing life’s everyday energy. Enjoying the many different aspects of existence is absolutely vital to me.” At the start of his artistic career, Lorenzo Quinn admits he was selfish. “I was hungry in all senses; it was difficult,” he says. “I was very self-centred but, being on my own, I was happy to be like that. Most great artists are selfish – think of Picasso! But, actually, I didn’t have a good life. It was work and worry all the time.” Marriage to Giovanna in 1988, and the birth of his three sons, Christopher, now 13, Nicholas, 11, and Anthony, born in 2005, changed everything. And in an unexpected way. “I take a lot of advice from the kids. When I start on a piece of work, we have a family meeting and they’ll all come and discuss it. Sometimes, they’ll kill a piece and say: ‘Dad, this is bad!’ Most of the time they are right when it’s bad, but usually they love it. They give me ideas and I listen to them a lot. Children are so natural and their emotional response so instinctive. They are so up-front and incredibly honest.” In Spain, where he now lives, Quinn feels he is best-known for his hand figures. He recognizes that the hands that have featured in several of his pieces have become an aspect that the viewing public identifies with him. “As an artist, in one way, I am honoured that people compare the hands I’ve made to the work of Rodin,” he responds. “However, it’s ridiculous, of course: I know I can reach many people with my work, but I will never have the technical skill and patience of Rodin.” In fact, if you ask him which pieces he is most pleased to see in situ, Quinn castigates himself for any perceived shortcomings. “I’m happy with my work

in Qatar, with my work outside Saint Martin’s Church, Birmingham, for instance. But there are others that I’m less happy with. It’s usually what I didn’t do, rather than what I did, that makes me unhappy.” By his own admission, after all, he has only just completed his ‘foundation’. Quinn says that his reputation, in the context of the careers of other artists he admires, will solidify between the age of 40 and 50, and that he will create any genuine masterpieces only from the age of 50 onwards. “I fear death,” he says. “I can’t stop thinking about it. But I am thinking about it and getting on with my sculpture, and I am trying to convince myself to live what I am preaching.” Giles Chapman London-based writer, born 1965, award winning journalist, author and co-author of 12 books on specialist design, including one in collaboration with the Royal College of Art, London

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Lorenzo Quinn —

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Love  Aluminium,,200cm


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Love  Aluminium,,100cm


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Love  Bronze,,100cm


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Love  Bronze,,50cm


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Eternal Love  Bronze,,50cm


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Eternal Love  Aluminium,,50cm


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Eternal Passion  Bronze


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Emotions, small  Aluminium,


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Chess Set Table  Aluminium


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Chess Set Board  Bronze


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Adam & Eve  Stainless Steel


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Adam & Eve  Stainless Steel


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Choices  Aluminium


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In Perspective, large  Bronze


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In Perspective, large  Aluminium


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Flamenco  Bronze


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The Force of Nature, Marina Barrage, Singapore  Stainless Steel


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Forces of Nature  Aluminium, 120cm


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The Force of Nature  Stainless Steel


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Forces of Nature II  Bronze


Forth Dimension II  Bronze


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Forth Dimension II  Bronze


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Forth Dimension II  Bronze


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opposite: Gravity  Aluminiun

Gravity, mini  Bronze


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Gravity  Marble and Aluminiun


Gravity  Marble and Bronze


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Hand of God, large  Aluminium


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Hand of God

Bronze, 400cm


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Genesis, small  Aluminium


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Give & Take II  Bronze


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Give & Take III  Bronze


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Trust, mini  Aluminium


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Golf  Aluminium


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Draw Your Own Time  Aluminium


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Luck  Mixed medium


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Reflection  Bronze


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Reflection  Aluminium


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Right Time Right Place  Bronze


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Stairs of Life  Bronze


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Volare, hanging  Aluminium


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Volare, medium  Aluminium


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Volare, mini  Aluminium


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Volare, medium  Bronze


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What Goes Around Comes Around  Bronze, Corten Steel


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What Goes Around Comes Around, small  Aluminium, Corten Steel


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What Goes Around Comes Around, small  Aluminium, Stainless Steel


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What Goes Around Comes Around, small  Bronze, Stainless Steel


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exhibitions 2007

Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street, London, UK Artisan Gallery, London, UK Il Mondo de la Escultura in Lleida, Vielha, Valle de Aran, Lleida, Spain Art for Food, World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland

2006

Inauguration of Legacy, Plaza de la Vila, St. Climent, Barcelona, Spain Ibercaja Exhibition Hall, Valencia, Spain Holland Art Fair – Vazquez Kunst, The Hague, Netherlands Ibercaja Exhibition Hall, Logroño, Spain Ibercaja Exhibition Hall, Huesca, Spain

2005

Inauguration of Rise Through Education, ASPIRE, Academy for Sports Excellence, Doha, Qatar Masters Art Galerie, Barcelona, Spain World Gallery, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street, London, UK Sammer Art Gallery, Lanzarote, Spain El Solell de Santa Agnes, Barcelona, Spain Sammer Art Gallery, Marbella, Spain Galerie Liehrmann, Liege, Belgium

2004

Ajuntament de St. Climent, St. Climent, Barcelona, Spain Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street, London, UK L’Heura Fundació “Inici de L’infinit”, Tarragona, Spain Instituto Veracruzano de la Cultura, Veracruz, México Galería Es Molí, Ibiza, Spain Galería El Claustre, Girona, Spain Galerie D ́Art Joël Dupuis, Hardelot, France Nering + Stern Gallerie, Berlin, Germany ONCE – Museo Tiflológico, Madrid, Spain

2003

Art Expo, Barcelona, Spain Can Janer Galería d’Art, Inca, Palma de Mallorca, Spain World Gallery, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain Halcyon Gallery, ICC, Birmingham, UK Galería El Claustre, Girona, Spain Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street, London, UK Bullfighting Fair, Santarem, Portugal

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2002

World Gallery, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain Sala Audiforum, Madrid, Spain Lorenzo Quinn & Anthony Quinn Art Exhibition Hall, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Galería Es Molí, Ibiza, Spain Halcyon Gallery, Selfridges, London, UK

2001

Halcyon Gallery, ICC Birmingham, UK World Gallery, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain De Arte, Madrid, Spain TEFAF 2001, Maastricht, Netherlands ArTrade, Maastricht, Netherlands 001-184_Revised.indd 180 66/7/07 13:35:41 La Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Monaco Galería Es Molí, Ibiza, Spain Galerie Liehrmann, Liege, Belgium Crédit Foncier, Montecarlo, Monaco Crédit Foncier, Cannes, France

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Halcyon Gallery, Bruton Street, London, UK 2000

Sala de Exposiciones Crèdit Andorrà, Andorra Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Hong Kong, China Espai Cultural Pere Pruna, Barcelona, Spain Ayuntamiento de Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain Galería Echeberría, San Sebastián, Spain World Gallery, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain Galerie Jedlitschka-Fedjuschin, Zurich, Switzerland Veranneman Foundation, Kruishoutem, Belgium Art and Image, Cannes, France ARCO 2000, Madrid, Spain Galería Fons d’Art, Olot, Girona, Spain

1999

Galerie Jedlitschka-Fedjuschin, Zurich, Switzerland Galería Castelló 120, Madrid, Spain Deutsche Bank, Madrid, Spain La Maison de l’Amerique Latine, Monaco Ayuntamiento de Sitges, Sitges, Barcelona, Spain Castell de Benedormiens, Castell d’Aro, Girona, Spain Art Expo ’99, Barcelona, Spain Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Barcelona, Spain Palais des Rois de Majorque, Perpignan, France


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1998

Seoul Art Centre, Seoul, South Korea Caja de Ahorros de Gran Canaria, Islas Canarias, Spain Ayuntamiento de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain Palacio del Almudí, Valencia, Spain Galerie Liehrmann, Liege, Belgium Galería Juan Oliver Maneu, Palma de Mallorca, Spain Palacio del Marqués de San Adrián, Tudela, Spain Art Expo ’98, Barcelona, Spain Squisito Gallery, Kortrijk, Belgium Galería Castelló 120, Madrid, Spain

1997

Galería Echeberría, San Sebastián, Spain Galería D’Art Susany, Vic, Spain Galería D’Art AB, Granollers, Spain Galería Maria Salvat, Barcelona, Spain

1996

Galería Nay, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

1995

Galerie Michelle Boulet, Paris, France

1994

Galerie Corso, Vienna, Austria Museo del Pobo Galego, Santiago de Compostela, Spain Museo de Grabado Español Contemporáneo, Marbella, Spain United Nations, New York, USA

1993

Scheidegger Art Center, Zurich, Switzerland Galleria Edieuropa, Rome, Italy Gallerie Steinrotter, Münster, Germany

1992

Galerie Corso, Vienna, Austria Westport Art Center, Westport, USA

1991

Ambassador Galleries, New York, USA Benedetti Gallery, New York, USA Galleria Hausamann, Cortina, Italy

1990

Rempire Fine Art and Gallery, New York, USA

1988

Center Art Galleries, Honolulu, USA Galleria Hausamann, Cortina, Italy

1987

Center Art Galleries, Maui, USA

1986

Center Art Galleries, Maui, USA

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TRANSMISSIONS of LIFE LORENZO QUINN first published 2010 by Ode To Art Contemporary

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Transmissions of Life, Lorenzo Quinn