Zombie Boy sculpture will greet visitors to Science Museum
Source:theguardian Author:Mark Brown Date: 2018-03-13 Size:
Marc Quinn, the artist best known for freezing 10 pints of his ……

The artist Marc Quinn with a model of Self-Conscious Gene, his new commission for the Science Museum.

Marc Quinn, the artist best known for freezing 10 pints of his own blood in a bust of his head, is to create a giant sculpture of a tattooed man known as Zombie Boy to permanently greet visitors to new galleries at the Science Museum in London.

Zombie Boy is Rick Genest, a Canadian artist and model who, after a period of illness, decided to cover himself head to foot with tattoos of the inside of his body.

He has developed something of a cult following thanks to his appearing in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way video, on the fashion designer Thierry Mugler’s catwalk, in the film 47 Ronin and on BBC One’s Silent Witness.

From next year the recognition will surely increase as a 3.5-metre bronze sculpture of Genest will be one of the first things seen in the new £24m medicine galleries at the Science Museum.

It is a bold commission. Is Zombie Boy not slightly terrifying? “I don’t find him scary at all,” said Quinn. “I find him rather amazing. He is an artist. His artwork is himself and let’s face it, he does look pretty cool.”

Rick Genest: ‘I don’t find him scary at all. He is an artist. His artwork is himself,’ Marc Quinn said of his latest subject.

Quinn said Genest was “a brilliant crossing point between street culture and science and art” and a man who had, to his credit, literalised a quest to understand his own body.

The artist first made a sculpture of Genest in 2010, part of an ongoing series titled Body Alteration in which Quinn made sculptures of people who used what might be seen as extreme methods to alter their bodies.

“When I did the show in 2010 people in the art world were scoffing, saying: ‘Oh God, it’s so sensationalist, how can you do these terrible people?’”

Now, Quinn said, this difference was being rightly embraced. “I think that ‘marginal’ has become mainstream. Not having a tattoo is now quite unusual.”

Having said that, Genest, who has more than 90% of his body covered in tattoos, has gone a lot further than almost anyone else.

Part of the life-sized model for Marc Quinn’s sculpture Self-Conscious Gene, inspired by Rick Genest, aka Zombie Boy.

“It is extreme, but there has not been an eyelid batted here about having him in the Science Museum – in the anatomy gallery where there will be lots of children and young people,” said Quinn. “It is completely fine. As it should be. It wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago, I don’t think.”

Ian Blatchford, director of the Science Museum and fan of Quinn’s work, said the sculpture of Genest made total sense for the new galleries.

“You may say why would a man do this to his body? I say to people, just remember, for all that medicine does to cure us it is still our body. If he chooses to celebrate his survival there is something noble and interesting about that.”

He said he does not think visitors will be scared and in any event “our visitors come here wanting to be surprised”.

Quinn is known for creating challenging, monumental sculptures. Notable examples include Alison Lapper Pregnant, which appeared on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, of an artist who was born without arms and with shortened legs; and Planet, a giant white sculpture of his baby son that is now permanently installed in the Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

He said the Science Museum was one of his favourite museums in London and one that he had been visiting since he was a child. “The museum is a mixture of knowledge, art and wonder. I hope that this sculpture will add to all three of these elements.”

Quinn said it would take at least a year to create the bronze sculpture, titled Self-Conscious Gene.

It will be ready for what Blatchford said would be “the greatest medical history museum in the world” when the new galleries open in the autumn of 2019.

Covering more than 3,000 sq metres, more than 2,500 medical artefacts spanning 500 years – including a 1930s padded cell and an interactive Victorian pharmacy – will go on display in the new galleries.

[Editor] 张艳

    Artintern