Samantha Taylor-Johnson is an English filmmaker, photographer and visual artist born in Croydon, London. Previously known as Samantha Taylor-Wood, her first notable work came as being the director of the feature film, Nowhere Boy, in 2009. This was a film based on the childhood experiences of famous singer and songwriter, John Lennon. Since then, she has been very successful in all areas of the arts and is always working on something new to keep herself busy.
The exhibiting of Samantha Taylor-Johnson’s fine art photography began in the early 1990s. One of her first works was in collaboration with artist Henry Bond. This work, titled 26, featured Bond and Taylor-Johnson reprising the roles of Yoko Ono and John Lennon in a pastiche of the photo portrait that was earlier made by photographer Annie Leibovitz. This portrait was originally created just a few short hours before John Lennon was assassinated in 1980.
In 2002, Taylor-Johnson was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery to make a video portrait of famous soccer player, David Beckham, in which she depicted him sleeping. She also is known for her work entitled “Crying Men” which she produced the same year. This was a piece that featured many Hollywood stars crying. It included big names such as Robin Williams, Sean Penn, Laurence Fishbourne and Paul Newman.
The most recent works by Samantha Taylor-Johnson have come in the past two years. In 2014, she created a photographic exhibition entitled “Second Floor.” It was a series of 34 photographs that captured the private rooms of CoCo Chanel at 31 Rue Cambon in Paris. Perhaps her most notable work came in February of 2015. Taylor-Johnson was the director of the Fifty Shades of Grey film which has become very popular since its release in 2015.
Samantha Taylor-Johnson also has a self-portrait piece on display in the Lexington Art League's Artist: Body exhibition. In this self-potrait, the artist was trussed up by a bondage expert and hung from the ceiling of her studio. Through extensive use of Photoshop the ropes and pulleys were erased, leaving an image depicting a moment of absolute release and freedom. Exploring weight and gravity, Self Portrait Suspended IV expresses effortless grace without a hint of the pain such contortions would elicit.
Come check out one of Samantha Taylor-Johnson’s most famous self-portrait pieces at the Lexington Art League’s Loudoun House during gallery hours throughout the next month. Gallary Hours will be held from February 27th through March 27th. Tuesday-Thursday 10am-4pm, Fridays 10am-8pm and Saturdays/Sundays 1pm-4pm.
Written by Chase Bisig, LAL Intern, University of Kentucky ISC student
Self Portrait Suspended IV, 2004, Chromogenic print, Collection of Laura Lee Brown & Steve Wilson, 21c Museum Hotel