The artist Sam Taylor-Wood yesterday shot a picture which will be blown up into an image 600ft long and 100ft high to be wrapped around the London store Selfridges when it undergoes renovation next year.
The picture was taken yesterday under conditions of the strictest secrecy at an opulent private house in London. Ms Taylor-Wood requisitioned actors including Michael Gambon, Ray Winstone, Jane Horrocks and Richard E Grant as models for her latest work. Other cast members, all of whom appeared for free, included Sir Elton John and the model Jodie Kidd.
Ms Taylor-Wood said yesterday: "Just as the Elgin Marbles are on the Parthenon [sic] like gods on the outside of a temple, this is going to be lots of grand people on the outside of a shopping temple." The theme was decadence -"the way that shopping is", she said.
The photographer, a former Turner Prize nominee, was commissioned to make the artwork by the store which gave her an open brief and made no stipulations as to what she should do. The work will be the latest in her series entitled "Five Revolutionary Seconds" in which a mechanical camera takes a 360 degree image of the assembled friends.
The actors were approached through their agents. "I just submitted the idea and they said, `Yes'. They're doing it because they think it's fun." In return, each will get a print of the photograph by the artist who is one of the successful band of young British artists.
Sam Taylor-Wood's work is said to explore human relationships by using friends to stage various scenarios. In her Turner prize entry, one of her exhibits, "Atlantic", had three video projectors displaying images on different walls. One showed an emotional woman, another a man's fidgeting hands and the third the restaurant in which they were sitting.
She caused a stir when she recreated an image of the Last Supper entitled "Wrecked", inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's painting but with a topless woman as Christ. It was exhibited in the "Sensation" exhibition at the Royal Academy.