Marc Quinn

HISTORYNOW. Kim at Met Ball


Oil and pigment print on canvas


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From Jerry Gogosian's Suggested Followers

Marc Quinn (British, b. 1964).

This work is offered framed.

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Marc Quinn’s HISTORYNOW series (2020 – present) surveys our increasing digital interdependence at a vital point in history. With a click, we are able to witness history as it is being written in every corner of the globe. Each post, screenshot, share and view is a synaptic connection in a new collective consciousness. Our phones become primary vehicles of documentation and dissemination, with the screenshot serving as a new form of documentary photography, capturing both our inner and outer worlds. The HISTORYNOW paintings thus start as screenshots on Quinn’s iPhone, which are then enlarged and pigment-printed on canvas before Quinn overpaints them in oil and acrylic to hide, blur and highlight aspects of the image and text beneath. Retaining the iPhone’s original proportions but radically upscaled, these uncanny screen grabs communicate the distorted way in which recent years have been experienced by many from home, via screens. This presents a familiar, first-person account of the daily updates and viral stories that we consumed – and which consumed us – during this shared historical moment. 

HISTORYNOW. Kim at Met Ball is derived from an image of reality TV star and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian, turning heads as she arrived at the Met Gala in New York City with designer Demna Gvasalia on September 13, 2021. Wearing a full black outfit and matching face covering by Balenciaga that rendered her “anonymous,” she polarized critics and created a sensation on social media. Upon seeing the image, Quinn was struck by the way in which Kim had transformed into a sculpture of herself, articulating in some way the difference between her “real” self and her image. In imagining Kim, outlined by the light of flashbulbs going off on the red carpet, Quinn was reminded of the celestial constellations in which heroes and heroines of mythology are immortalized in the heavens, their forms mapped out by stars in the night sky. He chose to include this thin outline of light in this portrait of Kim, depicting her as a contemporary constellation in the infinite space of the internet.

Height: 94.49 inches / 240 cm
Width: 43.31 inches / 110 cm
Depth: 1.25 inches / 3.17 cm

Signed, titled and dated verso


Direct from the artist


The HISTORYNOW series is currently on view at the Archaeological Museum of Venice and works from the series were included in Take Care: Art and Medicine at Kunsthaus Zürich earlier this year.

Condition Report

This work is in overall excellent condition.

Not examined out of frame.

Art Period
Conceptual , Young British Artists
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