August 21 2014

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An Art Star Turned Scarf Tsar


British artist Marc Quinn is no stranger to the fashion world. The so-called YBA made headlines in the aughts with Siren, his solid-gold statue of a nude, yoga-posing Kate Moss, reportedly the largest gold statue made since the days of the Pharaohs. And while Kate herself is branching into jewelry with a collection for the French label Fred inspired by her own tattoos, Quinn is also taking his first steps into the accessories market, with a new capsule line for Selfridges.

Not that he draws a distinction between one genre and another. “I don’t consider these works as accessories, I just consider them as part of my work,” Quinn told “They are, in a way, living artworks when someone wears them and I have always been interested in taking art out of the gallery and into the real world. Clothing is the perfect way to do this.”

The limited-edition collection of scarves, T-shirts, and jewelry draws on some of the same imagery that inspires his work: eyeballs, flowers, and skulls, that last being a symbol still enjoying a long moment in both fashion and art. (Think of Quinn’s sculpture of his own head made of his own frozen blood, or Damien Hirst’s diamond-encrusted memento mori.) “The skull has been used for centuries in art and design,” Quinn says. “Why it has come up particularly at the moment is perhaps because the more virtual our existence becomes, the more immortal we feel and we have a deep anxiety about death which these decorative skulls somehow dispel or mock.”

Photo: Courtesy of Selfridges

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