Next-Level Self Portrait Uses Artist's Own Blood

October 6, 2015 | Sarah Tse

Marc Quinn - Self
Photo credit: Marc Quinn studio

Marc Quinn's striking, eerie sculptures redefine what it means to sacrifice for your art.

Marc Quinn's artwork is a very literal interpretation of the self portrait. Not only does he use himself as a subject, but also as medium. The sculpture depicts a cast of Quinn's head cast entirely from his own blood. 

The sculpture draws on Quinn's experiences as an alcoholic, particularly on the feeling of dependency as the sculpture's integrity relies on refrigeration to keep it intact. Quinn makes a new iteration by recasting his head every five years, creating a continual and ongoing self portrait. Each new casting uses about ten pints of fresh blood — the same amount of blood in the average human body. The blood is encased in frozen silicone. Explore more of Marc Quinn's artwork,including his flesh paintings, at his website

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