The Art Of Kate Moss

A really bad artist can say something about the times in a way that often eludes genius. While the good artist gets lost in personal obsessions, the trite and sentimental hack has a way of showing us what we're all thinking. With his sculpture of Kate Moss, unveiled this week, Marc Quinn has done it again. And what he tells us is that we may as well put up our hands and confess that beneath our thin veil of modernism we remain an artistically conservative nation. British art has returned to its origins, we see on these pages. After all the sensations, after the brilliant careers and after the fire, we have arrived by some cyclical divine joke in 18th-century London, where portraiture is god and the leading artists of the day compete to depict Mary "Perdita" Robinson, Emma Hamilton - and Kate Moss. Quinn's portrait of Moss is the kind of monstrosity that, if it were exhibited in Tate Britain as 150-year-old period puce, would give us a good laugh at the bad taste of the Victorian bourgeoisie before modernism came along to clear the cobwebs. For the full story - click the title Irish Art