Photo of Sam Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson

Sam Taylor-Johnson is known as one of the most successful Young British Artists (YBAs).

Main details

Year graduated 1990
Department Art
Occupation Artist and film maker

Artist Sam Taylor-Wood (now known as Sam Taylor-Johnson) is known as one of the most successful Young British Artists (YBAs). Like fellow Fine Art graduate Steve McQueen, she has turned her hand to filmmaking in recent years.

Sam graduated from Goldsmiths in 1990 and became one of the most successful YBAs to emerge at the time, creating a media buzz and reinvigorating the art world.

Primarily using photography, film and video to evoke and explore scenarios replete with highly charged human emotions such as isolation and distress, her work has included ‘Still Life’ (2001), a short film depicting a bowl of fruit decaying at an accelerated pace, and ‘David’ (2004), a film of David Beckham sleeping commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery.

She was named Most Promising Young Artist at the Venice Bienniale in 1997, and the following year was nominated for a Turner Prize for her “acutely perceptive explorations of human relationships”. In 2002 she became the youngest artist to have a solo show at the Hayward Gallery.

In recent years she has turned her hand to filmmaking and received a BAFTA nomination for her John Lennon biopic 'Nowhere Boy'. She is currently filming an adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, the fastest-selling paperback of all time.

She was made an OBE in 2011 and received her honorary degree from Goldsmiths in 2008. In her speech during the ceremony, Sam said: 

"Goldsmiths gave me the power and ability to think for myself. That is the most solid foundation for the future."


Photo: The Sunday Times

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