Marc Quinn was born in 1964 in London, studied history and art history at Robinson College, Cambridge and graduated in 1985. He is one of the Young British Artists (YBA), although his work was not part of the Freeze exhibition in 1988, which was compiled by Quinns former roommate Damien Hirst and which unified the YBA for the first time. Quinn became known only in the early 1990s.

Quinns signpost in the world of art is ‘self’ (1991), a frozen sculpture of his head made out of 4.5 liters of blood, which he extracted over more than five months from his own body. ‘self’ was bought in 1991 by Charles Saatchi for £ 13,000, just like many other works of YBA. In April 2005 ‘self’ was sold for £ 1,5 million to a US collector.

Quinn's next important work was the frozen garden, which he created in 2000 for Miuccia Prada. A garden full of plants that could never grow, was preserved in cryogenic suspension. Garden seemed to anticipate some of the environmental issues, which later gained more significance.

Quinn also established a series of marble sculptures that showed people, who either naturally lacked limbs or got amputations. This reached its peak in the 15 ton marble statue of Alison Lapper, a woman born without arms and with shortened legs. The sculpture stood 2007 on the fourth socket of the Trafalgar Square in London.