The hand: For Lorenzo Quinn, this human appendage plays a fundamental role in how his art communicates with people, and its presence is apparent throughout his impressive body of work.
“The hand is a universal symbol for love and relationships. You can get through to a lot of people with the hand. In some cultures, the depiction of the full human figure is not accepted but most of the time, the hand is. It is a powerful symbol—the hand can create, destroy, love and hate,” explains Quinn.
The Barcelona-based sculptor was in town last month to promote his works in an ongoing exhibition, Transmissions of Life at the Ode To Art gallery in Marina Bay Sands. The one-time actor, philanthropist and artist is renowned worldwide as one of the most influential and avant-garde sculptors of his time. The exhibition showcases Quinn’s new sculpture works alongside some of his most powerful pieces from previously unseen collections.
Quinn’s works are internationally acclaimed. Major commissions include the United Nations and the Vatican. His prominence is recognized in Absolut Lorenzo, an advert for Absolut Vodka featuring top international artists. He is also highly regarded in the Middle Eastern arts scene and his iconic sculpture “Rise through Education” stands proudly in Doha, Qatar. In Singapore, his “Force of Nature” sculpture is on display at the Marina Barrage. A weighty work featuring a woman with the world in her hands, it’s an allegory to the power of Mother Nature and how man takes it for granted.
“Man likes to think that we are more powerful than nature. But it is of course quite the contrary. I made it (Force of Nature) right after the tsunami to show just how potent nature is,” Quinn explains of the work.
Painting, however, was the artist’s first love and he indulged in it for about two years before moving on to sculpture in the late ‘80s. “I was very jealous of my painting. I never liked the fact that I would never see it again after it was sold. Sculpture is more like sharing,” Quinn says.
That said, Quinn is impressed by the number of sculptures on public display in Singapore and stresses the importance of public art. “Art in public spaces is essential in any developed country, and Singapore is doing a good job at it. The fact that such a young country has so much art for the masses is impressive. Art embellishes our lives. You don’t need art to survive, but it will be pretty boring without it,” he says.
“You can survive on a bowl of rice but if you can add some condiments, it will be very much tastier.”
See Lorenzo’s Quinn’s inspiring works, Transmissions of Life at Ode to Art, #01-19 The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, 2, Bayfront Ave., 6250-1901. Ongoing