Full Details for Lot 1102
Sale MAR11A Lot 1102
§ Sam Taylor Wood, b. 1967 - artist's working proof for 'XV Seconds' produced in 2000 The original weighed two tons, stood 60 feet tall and ran 900 feet around the outside of Selfridges to the bemusement of shoppers on London's Oxford Street.
The giant photograph – Selfridges claim that it was the biggest photograph and artwork ever seen in London – was created by UK conceptual artist Samantha 'Sam' Taylor-Wood, essentially to wrap the building and hide the scaffolding while workmen renovated the façade of the famous department store in 2000.
Sam Taylor-Wood turned the project into a much vaunted work of art. Called 'XV Seconds', the photomontage was her version of the Elgin marbles, a frieze in which the Greek gods were replaced by 21 icons of modern culture including Sir Elton John, Blur guitarist Alex James, Ray Winstone, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Adrian Dunbar, Jane Horrocks, Amanda Ooms and models Jodie Kidd and Alex Wek.
The artist's working proof of the creation, a 24-foot computer-printed scale model of the finished article, signed on the reverse by Sam Taylor-Wood in black ink, is offered here.
PROVENANCE; This lot is sent for sale by Mr Mario Capaldi, the creative director of the company responsible for overseeing production of the finished article, who believes the proof to be unique.
He said: 'The fit and colour management of the project was vital to its success. It was something no one had experience before, but it had to be bang on. I suggested the printers should produce a working proof, printed on the same material and exactly to scale, for Sam to approve. The job took many months to complete and when it was finished, the proof was returned to me. I cheekily asked Sam to sign it and I believe it to be unique. I remember her saying that even she did not have a copy.'
'The full size version stopped the traffic when it was first unveiled in April 2000 and pictures of the artist posing in front of it with Elton John were on television and in all the newspapers.
What happened to the original finished artwork is not clear, but on completion of the project Mr Capaldi was given this proof which he asked Sam Taylor Wood to sign for him.
The artist commenced work on a series of major photographic works called 'Five Revolutionary Seconds' in 1995. The title refers to an old Royal Air Force camera which registered a 360-degree view in one continuous five-second-long revolution.
The Selfridges installation XV Seconds was her first major public commission. Its name was also a reference to the famous Warhol quip "Everyone is famous for 15 seconds". It was made with the special camera with her good friend Sir Elton John sitting in the centre of the circle as Zeus in a pose after the portrait by Ingres. The resulting photograph, which took 15 seconds to take, was the largest, heaviest, longest to print and the most difficult to achieve technically.
Its unveiling coincided with the opening of Tate Modern and brought Sam Taylor-Wood's work to the attention of a new and much wider audience. Nominated for the Turner Prize in 1998, she made her debut as a feature film director in 2009 with Nowhere Boy, based on the childhood experiences of John Lennon and was nominated for a BAFTA award last year. Since graduating in 1990 Sam Taylor Wood has had many solo exhibitions and has been represented in many multiple exhibitions throughout the World.
The proof measures 19" x 24',
NOTE; A smaller version of this print was produced in 2000 in an edition of ten measuring 10" x 83" but it only covered part of the whole image. A copy was offered at Phillips de Pury in New York on 14th November 2008, lot no 417.
Estimate £ 4,000-6,000
Sold for £4000
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