From Dead Bugs and Sea Critters to a Living Breathing Human

Lily Simonson and Joan Quinn, with portrait of Quinn in progress, June 26, 2012. Courtesy Lily Simonson.

Before beginning her two week trip to explore and paint the depths of the Pacific Ocean with The Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Lily spent a day with Joan Quinn and blogged about the experience for Art:21.

Like so many celebrities, Joan Quinn’s larger-than-life presence is counterbalanced by her surprisingly diminutive stature.  Though not an international household name, Quinn is known throughout the LA art world for both her continuing patronage of Southern California artists and her longtime role as West Coast Editor for Interview Magazine. Moreover she has been the subject of nearly 200 portraits over the past four decades by artists from a broad cross section of the Angelino art world—from heroes David Hockney and Ed Ruscha to emerging artists.  The collection was brought into the public in the form of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue entitled Mysterious Objects.

My own exchange with Quinn has been something of a whirlwind. Within a week of completing and installing all the work for my solo show Wet and Wild at CB1 Gallery, my newly emptied studio was refilled by the dynamic energy of Quinn herself.  She had invited me to join in the ongoing project of portraying her, and subsequently appear as a guest on her television program, The Joan Quinn Profiles and display the finished painting on set.  Since most of my models are dead bugs and sea critters, the appearance of a human being in the studio really shook things up.

Read it all here.

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