SELF is a self-portrait of the artist Marc Quinn is cast in several pints of his frozen blood. The blood is pasteurised, but its appearance does change slightly during the sculpture’s installation. Described by Quinn as a ‘frozen moment on lifesupport’, the work is carefully maintained in a refrigeration unit, reminding the viewer of the fragility of existence. The artist makes a new version of SELF every five years, each of which documents Quinn’s own physical transformation and deterioration. The first version of SELF was made in 1991.
– National Portrait Gallery