The Overwhelming World of Desire

Photographic image on steel
1200 x 565 x 15 cm
Edition of 3

The Overwhelming World of Desire (Paphiopedilum Winston Churchill Hybrid) is a photographic image of an orchid, transferred onto a twelve metre–high steel framework. The Overwhelming World of Desire evolved from a series of works that Quinn began in Milan, at the Fondazione Prada in 2000, made from freezing real flowers. These perfect preservations of dead flora acknowledged the transience of nature, seeming to halt the natural life cycle itself. Subsequently, Quinn photographed his small frozen gardens and used a pigment printing process, to capture the intense colour of the orchids, using this process to ‘freeze’ the flowers at another moment in time. Quinn compares The Overwhelming World of Desire to a child’s toy—the bright, plasticised finish and overwhelming dimensions creating an infantile perspective for the viewer. Above all, though, it is a sculpture intended profoundly to seduce the viewer, to “advertise the wonder of life and the overwhelming sensuality of the natural world, whose life force is one of pure desire” (Quinn, 2004)


About The Artist

Often associated with the YBAs or Young British Artists, Marc Quinn’s work has long been concerned with the human body and its composition. Quinn became well known for Self (1991); a cast of the artist’s head made from 4.5 litres of his own blood. Human imperfection has also attracted Quinn as a subject. He has produced a series of sculptures of people without limbs. Reminiscent of classical Greek and Roman sculptures, these were carved in flawless white marble to the exact likeness of the sitters, who were either deformed in the womb or through accident, war or illness. Ever combining scientific procedures with art Quinn’s work has developed to include themes of genetic modification and hybridisation. In addition to this he has frozen flowers and plants in silicone, preserving each as a perfect specimen, but freezing their development at the same time. It is not accidental that beauty and death are present in these works simultaneously.

Marc Quinn

Born: 1964