.Gavin Turk's work analyses and questions the concepts of fame, authorship and originality that continue to affect our understanding of art and of artists' activities. Using a degree of playful irony, he reveals how an artist can transform the value of an object to the point of giving it the status of a work of art. Well known within his oeuvre are the sculptures of famous people such as Pop of 1993 - a wax depiction of the punk singer Sid Vicious with the face of the artist and the pose of Elvis Presley from Andy Warhol's depiction of that star. Other notable works by Turk are the everyday objects such as Pile of 2004 - a polychrome bronze sculpture of a huge mound of rubbish. Through such works Turk looks at the issue of how something can come to be considered art when it occupies an institutional space intended for such a purpose.
The heads in Andipa Contemporary's Be-Head are two of 72 busts installed in an interactive performance that took place last April in the artist's London studio. For The Bust Party, as it was known, Turk invited a group of people who manipulated the wet clay of the 72 busts depicting the artist. The public thus became part of the creative process through being given the chance to add their own mark to a work in process. Turk's intention was to suggest the idea of art as authourless, the result of a collaborative effort by a group of people whose involvement was not just limited to the interpretative task of looking at the work but who could also touch it and put themselves in the artist's place.
Gavin Turk was born in 1967 in Guildford and studied at the Royal College of Art graduating in 1991. He has exhibited widely in both public and private galleries worldwide including Gavin Turk Ltd Paul Stolper Gallery, London (2009), Burnt Out, Kunsthaus Baselland, Switzerland and Piss Off, Gallerie Krinzinger, Vienna (2008) The Negotiation of Purpose, GEM, Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, Netherlands (toured to Magasin, Centre National d'Art Contemporain de Grenoble and The Font Project, Fine Art Society, London (2007) and Et in Arcadia Eggo, Roche Court, Salisbury (2003) to mention but a few.
Gavin Turk's work is held in public collections in London including Arts Council England, British Council, The British Museum, South London Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Contemporary Art Society; and in private collections in London including Deutsche Bank and Saatchi Gallery; in European collections including Caldic Collection, Rotterdam?; in American collections including Denver Art Museum, Refco Group, Chicago, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, World Health Organisation.