new-york

Marc Quinn

Mary Boone Gallery | Uptown

The new body of work Marc Quinn presented in this exhibition is seductive yet disturbing. The show comprised seven paintings from the series “Iris,” 2009–, in which human irises and dark pupils in an outsize dimension become the object of our gaze even as they in turn observe us implacably. They are simultaneously intimate and intrusive, and it quickly becomes uncomfortable to look at these paintings that look back at us, especially given what accurate renderings of human eyes they are (in fact they depict the eyes of real people, painted—from photographs, mostly with an airbrush—in oil on canvas). Each enormous eye has its own lurid, vertiginous quality, but the extraordinary realism makes all of them fascinating and repellent.

It is impossible not to think of the pervasive eye of Big Brother, that dystopian fiction that is now reality, as video cameras monitor our actions in public places

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