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Home » Marc Quinn’s gigantic baby sculpture up for private auction by Sotheby’s

Marc Quinn’s gigantic baby sculpture up for private auction by Sotheby’s

September 8th, 2008

Marc Quinn Baby Chatsworth Sotheby\'s
Planet (2008) by Marc Quinn, via London Telegraph

In a literal and symbolic sign of how large the scale contemporary art market has become, a seven ton, ten metre sculpture of a seven-month-old baby is up for sale to private individuals at the aptly named Beyond Limits, a Sotheby’s selling exhibition at Chatsworth, the Peak District home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The piece entitled “Planet” is one of more than twenty sculptures on display this week at Sotheby’s. The behemoth work is a bronze cast painted in a brilliant shade of white and is modeled after an earlier version inspired by a mold of the artist’s baby son. The work was produced by Marc Quinn, who achieved prominence and notoriety when his sculpture of Alison Lapper (a disabled, pregnant friend of Quinn’s and fellow artist) was placed on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square in 2005. Recently the artist reveled a teaser image of his golden statute of Kate Moss which will be unveiled at the Statuephilia exhibit at the British Museum, previously covered here.


Larger than life
[Financial Times]
Giant baby for sale [London Telegraph]
Giant baby for sale on grounds of Chatsworth House
[Telegraph]
Golden Kate Moss joins other goddesses at the British Museum’s ‘Statuephilia’
[ArtObserved]

\"Planet\" by Marc Quinn, on display at Chatsworth House as part of Sotheby\'s auction
Planet (2008) by Marc Quinn via London Telegraph

\"Red Sphinx\" by Marc Quinn
Red Sphinx (2007) by Marc Quinn, via Artnet

Like much of Quinn’s work, the sculptures draw attention to vulnerability and dependability in the human form. As reported by ArtObserved in another post, this is a theme he also explores with ‘Siren,’ a solid gold hollow sculpture of Kate Moss which will be displayed at the British Museum’s Statuephilia exhibit amidst other, more traditional representations of beauty from cultures as varied as Ancient Mesoamerica and Classical Antiquity. As the artist explained in the Financial Times, the Moss sculpture is supposed to be “about our need for images that people wreck their lives on, trying to achieve impossible wealth, immortality, bodily proportions, beauty. That is why I called the piece ‘Siren’. I want it to be this black hole of everything that is seductive and unattainable.”

The sculpture will probably also has been described as a work of art from our currently prolific and effervescent contemporary market to retain its value should the market head south in that the gold in the statue will serve as a built-in hedge, as the commodity is always salable component of the piece.

Alison Lapper Pregnant by March Quinn
Alison Lapper Pregnant (2005) by Marc Quinn, via Artnet

One Response to “Marc Quinn’s gigantic baby sculpture up for private auction by Sotheby’s”

  1. Robert Mileham Says:

    Sotheby’s is certainly breaking the ice in terms of selling contemporary work. Indeed one could call it a historical landmark. For artists it is highly significant at least in theory.

    Next week, Damien Hirst will become the first artist to sell new work at Sotheby’s auction in London. Waldemar Januszczak asks “Could this be the end of the Gallery”?

    Well it does turn the unwritten rule on its head. But will it really give power back to Artists or just for the great and ‘good’ I ask. We wait with baited breath.

    Januszczak’s article can be read on line here:

    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/visual_arts/article4669184.ece

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