Black British artist slams white Marc Quinn as 'trophy hunter'

Black British artist slams white sculptor Marc Quinn as a ‘trophy hunter’ who ‘colonised’ the Edward Colston plinth with his statue of Jen Reid

  •  Thomas J Price has criticised Marc Quinn and branded him a ‘trophy hunter’
  •  Believes Quinn exploited opportunity, took powerful image & claimed as his own
  •  ‘Surge of Power’ statue in support of BLM movement was taken down last week

A black British artist has slammed white sculptor Marc Quinn as a ‘trophy hunter’ who ‘colonised’ the Edward Colston plinth with his statue of Jen Reid. 

Thomas J Price criticised Quinn’s decision to erect the lifesize black resin and steel piece entitled A Surge of Power in Bristol last week and branded it a ‘stunt’. 

Less than 24 hours after the controversial sculpture of Reid was erected in secret it was torn down by council workers. 

Thomas J Price, pictured with a sculpture from his collection entitled ‘Worship’, has branded Marc Quinn a ‘trophy hunter’ for his latest work in support of the Black Lives Matter movement

Just 24 hours after it was erected in secret the statue created by Marc Quinn was taken down by council workers

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said it was taken down because it was put up without permission and conversation with the city. 

Speaking to GQ, Price said the sculpture is a powerful image but underneath is the ‘ambition and entitlement of this very privileged white guy’. 

When asked if he thought the statue supported the BLM movement he said Quinn exploited an opportunity when he saw an image of Reid on social media, thought it would be a great statue and claimed it as his own.  

Branding the BLM statue creator a ‘trophy hunter’, the artist acknowledged that he, like many others, had initially thought the image was powerful. 

But soon he began to think about Quinn’s previous work and his ‘track record of dipping in and out of issues’ and his opinion changed.

Price, who was selected to create a sculpture to celebrate the contributions of the Windrush generation earlier this year, said he has faced criticism from some who questioned why he had not created a public BLM statue. 

Price said Quinn colonised the plinth and claimed a powerful image of Jen Reid and claimed it as his own

He acknowledged that he thought the image of Jen Reid (pictured) was powerful but then his opinion changed as he thought about Quinn’s previous work

He said as a black artist he had struggled to have the same access and privilege in the industry and suggested Quinn’s resources and wealth made it a lot easier for him to achieve. 

He also claims Quinn’s public display was not ‘allyship’ and suggested he had ‘dominated this space for too long’ and colonised the plinth, using his resources to create a statue as opposed to lived experience. 

Price said he believes statues of slave traders should be taken down but suggested time should be taken to decide what replaces them.  

The subject of the BLM statue Ms Reid, a descendant of Jamaican immigrants, had attended the march in June 7 – her first BLM demonstration – with husband Alasdair Doggart, who helped roll the statue of Colston into the river when it was pulled down. 

Speaking after the sculpture was taken down she said: ‘This sculpture is about making a stand for my mother, for my daughter, for Black people like me. 

‘It’s about Black children seeing it up there. It’s something to feel proud of, to have a sense of belonging, because we actually do belong here and we’re not going anywhere.’

Bristol council workers arrived at the former memorial to Edward Colston at around 5.20am on Thursday to remove a statue of Black Lives Matter protester Jen Reid

Sculptor Marc Quinn told MailOnline he had ‘no idea’ how long the BLM statue would last after it was erected on a plinth where a memorial to slave trader Edward Colston once stood 

Last week artist Marc Quinn told MailOnline: ‘We have no idea how long it will be there, we don’t have any expectations. 

‘Jen and I are not putting this sculpture on the plinth as a permanent solution to what should be there – it’s a spark which we hope will help to bring continued attention to this vital and pressing issue.’ 

The monument to Colston is currently being restored after being fished from the water and will eventually be placed in a museum. 

A team of ten people led by Mr Quinn worked quickly and in secret to erect the statue. 

Workers arrived in two lorries and had the BLM sculpture up within 15 minutes using a hydraulic crane truck parked next to the plinth. 

Protesters tore down a statue of Edward Colston on Sunday, June 7, on the same day a memorial to Winston Churchill in London was defaced with the words ‘was a racist’ written on a plinth underneath.  

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