TAYLOR-JOHNSON SAMANTHA

CROYDON, UNITED KINGDOM [1967]

Samantha is an English filmmaker, photographer and visual artist. Her directorial feature film debut came in 2009 with Nowhere Boy, a film based on the childhood experiences of the Beatles songwriter and singer John Lennon. She is one of a group of artists known as the Young British Artists.

 

Taylor-Johnson began exhibiting fine art photography in the early 1990s. In 1994, she exhibited a multi-screen video work titled Killing Time, in which four people mimed to an opera score. From that point multi-screen video works became the main focus of Taylor-Johnson's work. Beginning with the video works Travesty of a Mockery and Pent-Up in 1996. One of Taylor-Johnson's first United Kingdom solo shows was held at the Chisenhale Gallery, east London, in September–October 1996. Taylor-Johnson was nominated for the annual Turner Prize in 1998, but lost out to the painter Chris Ofili. She won the Illy Café Prize for Most Promising Young Artist at the 1997 Venice Biennale.

In 2000, Taylor-Johnson created a wraparound, photomural around scaffolding of the London department store Selfridges while it was being restored; the mural featured 21 cultural icons including Elton John, musician Alex James and actors Richard E. Grant and Ray Winstone. The poses of the figures referenced famous works of art from the past and recent movies.

In 2002, Taylor-Johnson was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of David Beckham—whom she depicted sleeping. She is perhaps best known for her work entitled 'Crying Men' which features many of Hollywood's glitterati crying, including Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Laurence Fishburne and Paul Newman. In 2006, Taylor-Johnson had a survey exhibition at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom.

2014 saw a new photographic exhibition by Taylor-Johnson, of the private apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel at The Saatchi Gallery. Entitled ‘Second Floor’, the series of 34 photographs captured the private rooms of Coco Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris.