artist of the day #22: The Great Quentini

What do you get when you mix a giant chicken, a cyborg, and a piñata, then sprinkle in a little DNA from David Bowie and Weird Al? You get something somewhat equivalent to the Great Quentini. I say somewhat equivalent because I don’t think the recipe to make him could ever be made twice. He is a performance artist, musician, and sculptor all wrapped into one funny shaped specimen. I got to know him first as the performance artist. Sometimes he is doing a puppet show, others, an interesting mix of found object musicals and story telling.

The Philadelphia based artist likes to work with found objects. I have seen him construct beautiful and interesting costumes that are both alien and tribal at the same time. I have also seen him use these random objects as musical instruments. He is a trained percussionist, so expect to see him bang object A with object B in interesting and profound ways. Most often his performances feel like a blast of chaos, but I have seen him enough times to know there are underlying ideas. Whether he is telling his story about trying to dismantle the McDonald’s arch that blocks his view of nature, or acting out a space alien looking for his mother, you can compile it all together and get the sense that he is striving for a quest back to basics. I would describe his as tribal by nature, alien by nurture.

The only issue I have isn’t quite an issue with him as an artist, it simply has to do with my own greed. Quentin used to spoil Philadelphians with free shows about once a month. But in recent years he has taken a bigger focus on his sculptures. He has been commissioned to do projects at Burning Man, Playa del Fuego, and other events where the creation gets burned to the ground. These projects are fascinating, but usually out of my reach. Perhaps one day I will make it to one of them, until then, I’ll have to get by with these video clips: