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Art is the John the Baptist of the heart, preparing its affections for Christ. Jacques Maritain

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Quinn, Lorenzo - VM - Natascha de Goey

Lorenzo Quinn: Trust

The Language of Hands

by Natascha de Goey

When I first saw this little sculpture in a gallery, I was profoundly moved. A vulnerable woman resting in the hand of her Creator.

According to the artist Lorenzo Quinn, hands are technically the greatest challenge of the human body to sculpt. That could well be, as they are marked by life and tell so much about the owner. Hands are capable of so much. According to Quinn they have the power to love and cherish, but also to hit and hurt.

Perhaps this is why the woman has placed her arm across her body. Scarred by life, she looks as if she does not dare to surrender herself completely to the loving hand that is holding her. 

Quinn made his largest and most conspicuous work in 2019 for the Venice Biennale – an archway bridge of six pairs of gigantic hands. It is 20 metres long and 15 metres high. 

Each pair pictures a universal value that is essential for a dignified and joyful existence. From left to right:  

The first pair – palms together – representing friendship.

The second pair – an old hand and a young hand holding on to each other – representing the passing on of wisdom and knowledge. 

The third pair – two hands grasping each other – representing mutual help and holding on tight.

The fourth pair – a small hand grasps the hand of a parent – representing faith.

The fifth pair – hands with fingers interlaced – representing hope.

The sixth pair – fingertips touching each other – representing love. 

Quinn chose to build a bridge because Venice has so many bridges. But bridges are also a symbol for connection. They offered Quinn the possibility of spreading a universal message of peace and unity during the biennale. His faith in God and his deep longing for a pure conscience, in spite of human imperfections, translated into a call to build more bridges and fewer walls.

Apart from the work for the Biennale in Venice, he has also enriched the Vatican, the Climate Change Conference COP25 of the UN in Madrid, and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg with his works of art. Quinn is able to reach millions of people with both his small and large works.

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Lorenzo Quinn: Trust, 2002, bronze on a marble pedestal, 19 x 31 x 25 cm.

Lorenzo Quinn: Building Bridges2019, polystyrene and polyurea, 20 x 15 m, Venice Biennale. 

Lorenzo Quinn is an Italian artist and former actor born in 1966 in Rome. He is a son of the actor Antony Quinn. Inspired by artists such as Bernini, Michelangelo and Rodin he developed into a figurative sculptor. He studied at the Art Academy of Fine Arts in New York City, NY, USA. Quinn is inspired by every-day, ordinary life. He aims to portray emotions in an aesthetically balanced manner. He is best known for his large statues of human hands. https://www.lorenzoquinn.com 

Natascha de Goey is a Dutch district nurse and author with a missionary heart and an emerging passion for art with a story. 

ArtWay Visual Meditation November 7, 2021