Quinn’s monumental sculpture Vroom Vroom uses a vintage Fiat Cinquecento – the model the sculptor bought as his first car – grasped by a child’s hand cast from his own four-year-old son and enlarged to immense proportions. Exploring the relationship between children and their parents, the piece comments playfully on a pastime Quinn believes boys never grow out of and celebrates childhood memories.
Quinn thinks of the car as his talisman. A client visiting his studio said, ‘That car is so small, it looks like a toy’. His response was, ‘Often the only difference between a child and an adult is the price of the toy. Actually, this car was a toy for me. I had a hard time getting it, and once I obtained it I enjoyed it as a child would. The completion of this work represents the innocence and excitement about the little things that make us happy.’
Each and every one of my art works is a little part of me; they are my experiences, thoughts, desires, feelings. Vroom Vroom represents ... my independence, my freedom, my personal growth. This was the first car that I bought with the money I made in my earlier works. It was hard to achieve but the purchase was a relief for me; I had obtained something highly desired but, most importantly, with my own effort. I did not depend on my parents any more – I was grown up. – Lorenzo Quinn
In summer 2010 the new sculpture Vroom Vroom was displayed outside the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno (IVAM), Spain’s oldest contemporary art museum. The installation marked a co-operative undertaking between IVAM, La Consellería de Cultura i Esport de la Generalitat and Halcyon Gallery.
In acknowledgement of the automotive theme of the sculpture, the unveiling took place on 25 June to coincide with the 2010 Formula 1 Telefónica Grand Prix of Europe at the Valencia Street Circuit. The installation was scheduled to last for one month but was so popular that it was extended for a further month.
Westminster Council chose Vroom Vroom for placement in London’s Park Lane as part of its City of Sculpture Festival. Located between busy traffic lanes on the central reservation at the junction of Park Lane and Stanhope Gate from 23 January 2011, the piece attracted wide media coverage, including witty headlines in Metro and the Daily Mail.
Expressing his appreciation of the work, councillor Alastair Moss, chairman of the planning application subcommittee, said: ‘I think that many people feel a fondness and love for their first car which stays with them for a lifetime, and I hope this artwork brings a similar feeling of excitement to the many people visiting the West End’.
Paul Green, president of Halcyon Gallery, spoke of the international exposure that Vroom Vroom had had before being exhibited at Park Lane in London, at ‘the heart of the art world. This is extremely important for Lorenzo Quinn, and once again Westminster Council’s scheme enables a great piece of art to be placed in one of the most prestigious and unusual sites in the world.’