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Blood Work
An art world meltdown

    Marc Quinn creates works of art using an unusual choice of material -- his own blood. One of his best-known pieces, called Self, is a sculpture of his own head made out of his blood that has been frozen solid.

    Quinn made the piece about ten years ago. Over a period of five months, the artist took nine pints of his own blood, and used it for the sculpture. Self created a sensation when it was first publicly exhibited. The life-sized blood-red bust even caused some people to faint when they saw it.

    But just a few weeks ago in a terrible and disgusting twist of fate, the work was accidentally destroyed.

    The sculpture, which had been purchased (for about $25,000) by millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi, was being kept in his home inside a refrigerated case.

    Workmen in Saatchi's home doing some renovation work moved the freezer case, inadvertantly unplugging the motor keeping the freezer going. A short time later, the workers noticed a pool of blood had formed around the floor. The workmen opened the freezer door, and saw to their horror that the fragile, irreplaceable work of art had melted into a red puddle.

    Art critics and scholars were horrified, and Quinn and Saatchi refused to comment. But one wag did refer to the situation as "a bloody mess."



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