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By Astrid Peeters

The Louvre isn’t the only museum that has invited a contemporary artist this summer... Monaco’s most famous museum, the Oceanographic museum, invited British artist Marc Quinn (London, 1964) to join them for a few months. Although Quinn is a multidisciplinary artist, he is best known for his sculptures, such as his statues of supermodel Kate Moss in yoga positions. One of his most discussed works is his self-portrait Self, made out of his own frozen blood. This particular work is on display inside the museum. Those who have not visited the museum, or the exhibition, of Quinn have not had the opportunity to check out his work. In front of the ticket desks everyone thronged to have a closer look at the gigantic white baby, Planet.

Inside the museum, his works amaze the audience. The Origin of the World, a 3-meter high shell made out of bronze sowed doubt among the visitors about whether it was real or not.
Quinn’s artworks create a well thought out dialogue with the numerous ancient objects. For example; inside the magnificent hall of Honor Quinn reveals the Evolution of an embryo’s grow with nine pink marble statues. To complete the quadrate, the statue of Albert I, founder of this museum, stayed in place. One of the walls of this hall offered space for Littoral Zone, a painting were a child stands eye in eye with an iguana on a beach. In fact, the child encounters his origin since they both are born from the sea. The reality of this painting (with details like the dirty knee of the child or the reflection in the water) will make you repeatedly doubt whether it is a photo or not.

His series of ten paintings The Eye of History are made out of iris shaped globes. They symbolize the way we look at our world. Unfortunately the composition itself took over the idea. Entering the hall of the Whale touched me deeply. The silence, the light and the realistic statues created such a overwhelming atmosphere which gave me goose bumps. While I was wandering around this space between the skeletons and people, it took me half an hour to realize the man in front of the window was a statue itself. Yes, Marc Quinn even fooled me with his Zombie Boy (Rick).

Astrid Peeters, a Belgian PR student with a background in art history. She studies in Antwerp, Belgium’s unofficial fashion capital and tries to visit as many exhibitions as possible around the world.

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