Quinlan’s Quilts Jul30


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Quinlan’s Quilts

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Rating: 5.0/5 (5 votes cast)

These ain’t your granny quilts!  This amazing Pittsburgh fabric artist has turned the old fashioned comforts into modern art.  Shawn Quinlin’s controversial work has been featured in shows at the Andy Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art and many more.  Instead of making you want to snuggle under it, these quilts make you want to think.

I first saw a Quinlan quilt at the Andy Warhol Museum as part of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh show in 2002.  It was a large quilt that depicted The Last Supper in an almost sacrilegious way.  It was hung in a prominent spot in the show and when I first saw it I thought to myself, “That would never go in my house!”

He called it “The Quilt That Won’t Bring Comfort” and that’s just how it made me feel.  Along with Jesus and his disciples, there were skulls and money and half eaten apples and fighter jets and oversized Cirpro tablets (to combat anthrax) and many more images that made me uncomfortable.

But the crowd around it kept growing and it was sparking wonderful conversations. And then it dawned on me that’s just what great art is supposed to do.  Each stitch makes a statement.  A statement that begs a response.

The fine detail on Quinlin’s work is amazing. The fronts are meticulously crafted and tell a story which primarily include controversial political or religious themes.  The other side is more abstract  and reminds me of a kaleidoscope-  which is a great option for a buyer to be able to show either side depending on who is invited over for dinner.

Shawn Quinlin got started when his step-mother gave him an old Singer sewing machine in 1995.  Since then, his unique talent has won him many awards and taken his work far beyond our three rivers to shows across the country and even into France, Germany and Australia.

Some of his quilts are beautifully normal but I have to admit they seem quite dull after studying his work that includes a million small details that invite some in-depth conversation. So instead of snuggling under these quilts, hang them on the wall, invite some friends over and enjoy a evening of enlightening discussion.


Find him on the web here.

Quinlan's Quilts, 5.0 out of 5 based on 5 ratings