SR is the art world's It-girl, famous for being famous. For the more philosophically inclined, her bid to gain fame by publicity alone - while staying anonymous and doing little more than smile - is a send-up of the current romance between artists and the media.
To get in on the jape, would-be SR fans can buy the stickers (pounds 1 for 20) from vending machines at the ICA, the Whitechapel Art Gallery, the Tactical Coffee Bar in D'Arblay Street, Soho, and the Watershed, Bristol. Or you can get a stash free by post from a flat in Stepney, abode of her mysterious "controller", a fellow artist of the opposite sex.
Over the past nine months, 20,000 stickers have made SR probably the most stuck-up young woman in the contemporary art world. And, as if that wasn't exposure enough, SR has taken out full-page self-advertisements in four trendy style mags - i-D, Dazed and Confused, Don't Tell It and blag.
There are also SR carrier bags and an SR promo sheet that declares enigmatically: "A new artist for a new generation". It goes on, in what could be a parody of pretentious artspeak, or simply sheer pretentiousness: "She is redefining the self-portrait for the 1990s, art, fashion, advertising, image, identity, ego. This is the self-portrait as self-promotion. This is art in the remix. This is the new label to be seen with." Well, I never...
You can, if you know the right people, be seen with SR. She presided at a book promotion at Waterstone's in Charing Cross Road last year. They gave her a window display and a table header, and a highly collectable limited edition of 1,000 promo cards was distributed to fans and bemused shoppers. The book? She promoted every book in the store - and never even asked for a fee.
Although she won't say who she is, SR does talk. Well-wishers can telephone her or write to her. She says things like: "Art always looks like art" and "I'd like to go to Morocco".
Fame? "Yes, I'd like that. It would be a part of what my art is about. Fame would enable me to say what I really want to say." (Things like "I'd like to go to Morocco", I suppose.)
Fortune? She thinks she could handle that, too. After all, those stickers and promo cards are not cheap to print.
There'll be a book, of course. It will contain snapshots of stickers stuck in unusual places throughout the world, sent in by fans committed to making her the world's most famous anonymity.
SR, whoever she is, will enjoy promoting that.
Stickers and further information from: SR, Flat 6, 49 Cavell Street, Stepney, London E1 2BP (tel: 0171-790 3331)Reuse content