Joan Quinn, muse to the world’s biggest artist, shares secrets of the LA art scene
By Spectrum News Staff Beverly Hills
PUBLISHED 5:00 AM PT Sep. 19, 2022
Growing up in Los Angeles, Joan Agajanian Quinn befriended artists at a young age. Over time, her relationships in the art world grew. Soon, she was at the center of the Los Angeles art scene, befriending artists such as Andy Warhol and David Hockney.
She said, at the time, she knew they were talented, but never knew they would become the famous artists they are known as.
“I never thought anybody was going to become who they were,” she said. “They were just friends.”
On this episode of “LA Stories” Quinn tells host Giselle Fernandez how she became known as one of the most painted women in the world — with over 300 portraits of her. Those who have captured her portrait include world-famous artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Hurrell, Kenneth Price and Robert Mapplethorpe.
While she is proud of the portraits and her collection of art, she makes it clear that this was not her idea or plan.
“I don’t want you to think it’s very narcissistic. Because if you’ve seen some of them, you see how they’ve depicted me, blah!” she said.
As the West Coast editor of Warhol’s Interview Magazine, and host of her own interview series, Joan Quinn Profiles, Quinn used her fame in the art world to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming artists.
Today, she continues to make connections between people, artists and the art world, hoping to make art more accessible to all.
“I’m so glad that people can enjoy it. I’m so glad that I get photographs with people in front of the paintings going, ‘This is my favorite,’” she said. “I’m so glad that those artists had a voice, and that they were able to tell their stories.”