Stuart Sandford hopes his latest project will be around for a few hundred years. The artist is currently in the thick of a fundraising campaign to erect an eight-foot stainless steel statue of model Sebastian Sauvé. Sandford’s work is known for its explorations of sexuality, masculinity and identity, often via pop culture icons from his teenage years. Delving into Freudian ideas of narcissism and Greco Roman mythology, Sebastian 2012 goes one step further. Sandford took Dazed Digital behind the project and explained why we should help build his modern day Narcissus.
His profile is very Greco-Roman and statues from that period are the main influence for this piece. I also wanted to work with someone who had a recognisable face and who better than a model? Oh yeah and he’s pretty damn hot
Dazed Digital: What inspired the project?
Stuart Sandford: It’s a culmination of a number of projects I’ve been working on for the last few years, which consist of images of guys taking photographs of themselves. By creating a sculpture of this action that will be around for generations to come, it seemed like a natural and fitting conclusion to the idea.
DD: Why did you choose Sebastian?
Stuart Sandford: Initially, it came down to his classical looks. His profile is very Greco-Roman and statues from that period are the main influence for this piece. I also wanted to work with someone who had a recognisable face and who better than a model? Oh yeah and he’s pretty damn hot.
DD: What is the main concept at the core of the piece?
Stuart Sandford: The idea that narcissism is inherent within homosexuality, which was first posited by Freud in 1905: that every gay man only wants to fuck himself and will find a partner with similar features in order to achieve that. Added to that is the idea that anyone with a camera and an Internet connection can show every single inch of themselves off to the world.
DD: Why are you fundraising to have the statue built?
Stuart Sandford: Because this is such a big project it was an economical necessity. I wish I was one of those artists with super rich parents or with a trust fund who runs around making expensive work but unfortunately that’s not the case.
DD: Aside from the gifts you’re thanking donors with, what will people get from supporting the project?
Stuart Sandford: I hope that people see it as a piece that’s not only very current and very contemporary but also, given the properties of stainless steel, something that will be around for many hundreds of years. This is a real opportunity to be involved in something that future generations will look back on.