We walk into the new Gallery Odyssey that opens today, with the solo works of Lorenzo Quinn. Given Quinn's background, we expect to see pieces that evoke a powerful reaction. After all, his famous father, Anthony Quinn, was known to be boisterous in his personal and professional life. The barrel-chested actor played roles like that of the formidable Lawrence of Arabia and Alexis Zorba (Zorba the Greek).
Artist Lorenzo Quinn at Odyssey Art Gallery. Pics/Satyajit Desai
Flair on canvas
Instead, the work that greets us at Gallery Odyssey has unexpected flair — the ability to capture our deepest emotions, without screaming. We see an ntricately-crafted bronze sculpture of intertwined hands, as though the two are locked in embrace. It evokes a feeling of security. The text above the painting speaks of unconditional eternal love. Only the closing words get us thinking, warning that 'love this great can kill'.
We see chess pieces formed by gesturing hands (much like forming hearts with hands). At first glance, they appear playful and childlike. The pictures of Anthony Quinn and the text in the background speak of chess being a big part of the Quinn household. At the end of the text, we learn that in his later years when Quinn Sr lost, he 'took it personally and saw himself getting old and frail because he couldn't beat his son'.
Creations by Lorenzo Quinn
Lorenzo explains, "Life runs through all my creations; universal emotional themes — love, quest and loss — that every human can identify with, irrespective of race, religion, culture, nationality, etc. I explore philosophical questions," says the artist who is a spitting image of his actor-father. Given his good looks, we wonder whether acting was an option he'd considered. "I acted in and as Dali in the 1991 film. But as an actor you are interpreting somebody else's creation, whereas as an artist, you create your dream. I like being in charge."
Few serious fans might be aware that Anthony Quinn, was a sculptor and painter too. Quinn reveals, "My father was always collecting or creating art and that influenced me, but not his art itself." He adds, "Dad was proud of what I and my sister (Catalina Quinn) had made, even as young artists.
Once, when he had a large exhibition, he gave us a separate room. I sold all my works. The subsequent year, I got taken in by the money rather than the process of creation and I learned an important lesson when I couldn't sell a single piece!"
Curious about his process of creation, Quinn takes us through it: "I come up with a title and elaborate on it in words. The adjectives give me images. I render the imagery, and finally sculpt."
From Spain to India
How did an artist based in Spain come here? "Divya and Samir Gehlaut, founders of Indiabulls, are great believers of my work and that got the ball got rolling," he says. When Gallery Odyssey opened — collaboration between the Gehlauts and Halcyon India — Quinn was invited to be the opening artist.
As a first-time visitor, ask him about Mumbai and he says, "I've just arrived a few hours ago, but what little I've seen, I like. I am looking forward to spending time here and I know that inspiration will come through conversations with its people."
Time 11 am to 6.30 pm (Monday-Saturday)
Till: July 18
At: Gallery Odyssey, Tower 2, One Indiabulls Centre, Senapati Bapat Marg, Elphinstone Road.