Lightness of Being

Planet, Marc Quinn's giant baby sculpture in Gardens by the Bay in SingaporeSeemingly floating in mid-air, this giant sculpture, called Planet, by British artist Marc Quinn, debuted as a permanent installation at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore on January 18. The seven-ton, ten-meter-long painted bronze, which looks deceptively weightless (and depicts the artist’s infant son at the time) was created in 2008 and was previously exhibited at England’s Chatsworth House, followed by an appearance at Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum last year.

Quinn (whose controversial marble sculpture Alison Lapper Pregnant sat atop one of the plinths in London’s Trafalgar Square from 2005-2007), says of Planet: “ It’s a piece of art, it’s not a manifesto, and it shouldn’t have a particular answer, it should have a lot of different interpretations, because art that lasts is art that is ambiguous. It’s poetry not prose.”

But is it really nothing more than theme-park-like amusement? Or simply kitsch? (“Art that flaunts its content in an immediately readable way risks vacuity,” wrote Jonathan Jones of the piece in The Guardian.)  Let’s say the jury is out on this one…

(Photo: Stephen Morrison / EPA)

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