Apparently it wasn’t the catwalk that was the must see this London Fashion Week; but the opening at the Saatchi Gallery of an exhibition of 34 photographs that the artist and filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson took of Coco Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon apartment in Paris.
The work is a departure for Taylor-Johnson; the artist is better known for more unorthodox portraits. Among them is the filmmaker’s video of David Beckham sleeping, and ‘the Crying Men series’, in which Daniel Craig, Ray Winstone, Sean Penn among other other Hollywood stars were photographed in tears.
This latest series of photographs depict the private rooms of Mademoiselle Chanel at her iconic Parisian apartment. The subject matter of Taylor-Johnson’s photographs are the interiors of the apartment preserved as a private memorial since Chanel’s death more than 40 years ago.
Photography is a medium long used by the artist, who in the 1990s created a series of self-portraits in which she appeared suspended midair, lifted by balloons, and balancing precariously on a chair. But with a relatively recent shift; Taylor-Johnson has focused on directing feature films.
The Saatchi Gallery gathered a throng of UK A-listers to its private view which included Taylor-Johnson’s actor husband, Aaron, the model Lara Stone, and actor Jaime Dornan; who stars in her most recent venture, the soon-to-be-released film adaptation of the erotic best-seller 50 Shades of Gray.
The body of work by Taylor-Johnson, a Turner Prize nominee and OBE, illustrates the close relationship between fashion and the art world.
Next month the French powerhouse LVMH, owners of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, will open a museum of contemporary art in Paris, designed by Frank Gehry, in which the company’s art collection, including works by Pablo Picasso, and Mark Rothko will go on display.