Gillian Wearing, ‘Signs that say what you want them to say and not Signs that say what someone else wants you to say. HELP’, 1992-1993, Statens Museum for Kunst

Image rights: © Gillian Wearing. Courtesy: Maureen Paley, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

About Gillian Wearing

Turner Prize-winner Gillian Wearing produces candid videos and photographs revealing the disconnect between our inner lives and public personas, the individual and society, and truth and fiction. Inspired by documentaries, reality television, and the artifice of theater, Wearing describes her approach as “editing life.” She turns her lens on herself and on people she meets, whether on the street or through advertisements she has placed in newspapers. Among her most famous works is Signs That Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs That Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–93), for which she stopped hundreds of passersby in London, invited them to write whatever they wished on a white card, and photographed them. Like all of Wearing’s work, the portraits in this series convey the startling, unsettling divide between one’s outside appearance and innermost self.

British, b. 1963, Birmingham, United Kingdom