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Sam Taylor-Wood

Sam Taylor-Wood Biography

born London, England 1967

Sam Taylor-Wood (born London, England, 4 March 1967) is a contemporary artist working mostly in video and photography. She has been identified as a member of the young British Artist group, and is a graduate of Goldsmiths College. She is married to her art dealer Jay Jopling.

Taylor-Wood's parents divorced when she was a teenager, and she moved with her mother and step-father to a new-age commune in Surrey. Her mother abandoned the family when her daughter was sixteen and she moved into a bed-sit to live alone. Having fared poorly in exams, it took Taylor-Wood several years to gain the required qualification for entry into art school.

After a year at a North London Polytechnic, she transferred to Goldsmiths College to complete a Fine Art degree in 1990. Following University, Taylor-Wood held jobs at the Royal Opera House, and managed the Camden Palace nightclub. In 1991 her work began to appear in a number of group exhibitions alongside that of contemporaries from Goldsmiths.

Her breakthrough came in 1994 with the work "Killing Time" in which four people mimed an opera score. From that point multi-screen video works became the main focus of Taylor-Wood's work. Beginning with the video works "Travesty of a Mockery" and "Pent-Up" in 1996, Taylor-Wood began to use professional actors. Her work since 1996 has often featured celebrity friends: Elton John was included in a large photo-work, and commissioned Taylor-Wood to make a promotional video starring Robert Downey Jr. for one of his records. In 2002, Taylor-Wood was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of David Beckham sleeping.

She is also a long-time collaborator with Pet Shop Boys having produced films for their Somewhere concerts at the Savoy Theatre, London. She has also been guest vocalist on two Pet Shop Boys produced songs - in the Boys' rendition of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... moi non plus" and Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby". For the latter of these two releases, she used the pseudonym Kiki Kokova.

In 1995 Taylor-Wood married Jay Jopling, and their first child, Angelica, was born in 1997. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with colon cancer, which was successfully treated. In 1999, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which resulted in a mastectomy which successfully treated the cancer. Her second child with Jopling is due in 2006. Taylor-Wood was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997.

Select Timeline

Select Exhibitions

  • 1994 - Killing Time, The Showroom London, UK
  • 1995 - Young British Artists, Project for General Release, Venice Biennale Venice, Italy
  • 1995 - Masculin/Feminin, Centre George Pompidou Paris, France
  • 1995 - Brilliant! New Art from London, Walker Art Center Minneapolis, MN
  • 1996 - Life/Live, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Paris, France
  • 1996 - The Event Horizon, The Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin, Ireland
  • 1996 - Prospect 96, Kunstverein Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1997 - Campo 6, The Spiral Village Turin, Italy
  • 1997 - Worldwide Video Festival, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • 1997 - Sensation, Royal Academy of Arts London, UK
  • 1997 - Group Exhibition, PS1 Long Island City, NY
  • 1997 - 2nd Johannesburg Biennale Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 1997 - Sam Taylor-Wood, Kunsthalle Zurich, Switzerland
  • 1997 - Sam Taylor-Wood: Five Revolutionary Seconds, Fundacio "la Caixa" Barcelona, Spain
  • 1997 - Sam Taylor-Wood, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Humlebaek, Denmark
  • 1998 - Prada Foundation Milan, Italy
  • 1998 - Turner Prize, Tate Gallery London, UK
  • 1998 - New Photography, The Museum of Modern Art New York, NY
  • 1998 - Video: Bruce Nauman, Tony Oursler, Sam Taylor-Wood, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art San Francisco, CA
  • 1999 - Noli Me Tangere, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Washington, DC
  • 1999 - Wuerttembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2001 - Mute. White Cube2. London, UK
  • 2001 - Kunstlerverein Malkasten. Dusseldorf, Germany.
  • 2002 - Films and Photographs. Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum.
  • 2002 - Hayward Gallery. London, UK
  • 2002 - Shisedo. Tokyo, Japan.

Select Artwork

  • Soliloquy IX
  • Self piet, 2001
  • Self Portrait Suspended II, 2004
  • Laurence Fishburne, 2002
  • Five Revolutionary Seconds XIII, 1998
  • Self Portrait as a Tree, 2000
  • Benicio Del Toro, 2002

Quotes

  • "I'd love to have more children. If I'm still clear after five years, I'll think again."

Publications

  • Sam Taylor-Wood - by Sam Taylor-Wood, Jeremy, Ph.D. Miller, Michael Bracewell, Jeremy Miller, Steidl Publishing (August 15, 2002)

Quick Facts

  • Sam Taylor-Wood is a contemporary artist working mostly in video and photography.
  • She has been identified as a member of the young British Artist group, and is a graduate of Goldsmiths College. She is married to her art dealer Jay Jopling.
  • Following University, Taylor-Wood held jobs at the Royal Opera House, and managed the Camden Palace nightclub.
  • Her breakthrough came in 1994 with the work "Killing Time" in which four people mimed an opera score.
  • Her work since 1996 has often featured celebrity friends: Elton John was included in a large photo-work, and commissioned Taylor-Wood to make a promotional video starring Robert Downey Jr. for one of his records.
  • Taylor-Wood was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997.
  • She is also a long-time collaborator with Pet Shop Boys having produced films for their Somewhere concerts at the Savoy Theatre, London. She has also been guest vocalist on two Pet Shop Boys produced songs - in the Boys' rendition of Serge Gainsbourg's "Je t'aime... moi non plus" and Donna Summer's "Love to Love You Baby". For the latter of these two releases, she used the pseudonym Kiki Kokova.

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