Bloody Heads

copyright, Marc Quinn

Happy Halloween!

I thought that I would take the opportunity to share something that creeps me out and fascinates me at the same time, yet also fits right in to the Halloween holiday. A while back I found an article on Huffington Post Arts on British artist, Marc Quinn and his series of self-portraits made entirely from his own blood. Yes you read right. It certainly elevates the concept of a self-portrait that’s for sure! He has committed himself to creating a new head of himself every five years. Each head has to be kept frozen in order to preserve it, a few degrees off and you start to have the beginnings of a bloody mess. Then the piece is ruined for good. But maybe they’re not supposed to last forever anyway? Well it’s that very idea of life and death, and the impossibility of immortality, that Quinn is exploring with his blood portraits. Ever since I saw the work, I have been a little bit obsessed with it to be honest. I love the idea of someone putting so much of themselves into their process, in this case literally the artist’s own blood. When I read the article on Marc Quinn’s portraits, it made so much sense. It made me explore thoughts about my own mortality, and what exactly my comfort level is with the topic of death.  With 2012 seemingly the year people want remind others that “you only live once”, could Marc Quinn’s blood self-portraits also be considered a modern day memento mori?

copyright, Marc Quinn

copyright, Marc Quinn

For the original Huffington Post Arts article, read it here. And for more about Marc Quinn and his incredible body of work, check out his official website.

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