Gavin Turk Artist Biography
Gavin Turk's work centers predominately around issues of identity and authorship. He was one of the Young British Artists that rose to fame in the early 90's alongside Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Rachel Whiteread championed by Charles Saatchi in the Sensation exhibition at the RA in 1995. He draws on the influences of Warhol's multiples and Duchamp's ideas of the ready made challenging the myth of the artist.One of his most recognisable images "Pop" is a waxwork portraying himself as Sid Vicious in the pose of Andy Warhol's Elvis Presley as a cowboy. It addresses the idea of celebrity and artist and challenges our preconceptions of both replacing both subject matter and author with himself. Similarly he places himself in the shoes of another in "Fright Wig" where he poses himself in place of Warholﾒs self portrait, honouring him as a great artist while simultaneously questioning the authenticity of art. Turk was born in Guilford in 1967 and studied at the Royal College of Art in London. They famously refused his MA following his degree show presentation which consisted of an empty white room containing only a mock English heritage plaque stating "Gavin Turk, Sculptor, Lived and worked here 1989-1991". Apparently Jay Jopling recognised the talent in Turk and saw the potential in this piece that has taken him to international acclaim.