Quinn has played a major role in public art for the past 20 years, presenting sculptures that celebrate love and tolerance; the evolution of his work has been dramatic, most obviously in his recent commitment to produce ever larger works. ‘Monumental yet at the same time modest, his public art of the urban landscape is nourished by a rich symbolism that generates ideas in the beholder’, writes
Consuelo Císcar Casabán, director of the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM). ‘His intention is to inspire relationships that are harmonious, sensitive, consistent and sustainable between people and nations.’
Quinn has exhibited globally from London to Doha and from Venice to St Petersburg, yet in summer 2011 his first opportunity to exhibit in Rome was especially meaningful for him, as he was born in the city. Rome’s inaugural exhibition of outdoor sculpture, featuring the work of Italian and international artists, was part of the city’s new cultural tourism agenda, seeking to educate about the past and promote awareness of the new. Quinn presented La Dolce Vita at Casina Valadier, near the Spanish Steps, from 24 May to 31 July. It incorporates the artist’s brother’s Vespa scooter from the 1960s.
The thrill of living the dolce vita in Rome must have been amazing. My father tried to describe it to me many times as I was growing up. It was a world full of hope and rebirth, a feeling of eternal spring for humanity. The world had ended a terribly destructive conflict but after all the destruction there was space to rebuild, and that transformed into an incredible lust for life.
Many Hollywood stars inevitably found themselves living the dream and passion in the eternal city and felt the vibrant energy that emanated from every cobblestone in Rome. The Lambretta and Vespa were the symbols of that newfound freedom in Rome and were used to discreetly discover all the town had to offer. For me this sculpture represents that joie de vivre and the total abandonment to the child within. – Lorenzo Quinn