Sam Taylor-Johnson, ‘Self Portrait Suspended VII’, 2004, White Cube


About Sam Taylor-Johnson

In her lush, highly charged photographs and films, Sam Taylor-Johnson examines “who we
are and how we work through our identity, how we perceive ourselves in the world,” as
she describes. Though she has photographed unpopulated landscapes, often as stand-ins
for emotional states and human subjects, Taylor-Johnson focuses her camera primarily on
herself and other people, including celebrities. Never straightforward portraiture, her
works abound with psychological, and often physical, tension, with subjects frequently
caught in the middle of ambiguous scenarios or in heightened emotional states. In her
short film, Ascension (2003), for example, a man dressed in a dark suit tap-dances, with a
white dove balanced on his head, on top of another man lying perfectly still on the
ground, as if dead.

English, b. 1967, Croydon, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom