Kurt Cobain

252 x 476cm

Kurt Cobain is my largest work to date, measuring 252 cm wide by 476 cm tall. That is over 8 feet wide by over 15 1/2 feet tall. It was made over a seven year period from 1995-2001. For much of this time, I was living in a small flat in Mornington Crescent in London. The work is actually bigger than the room in which it was made. In case you are wondering how that is possible, it is on twelve A0 mounting boards. The first time I was able to see it myself was when I held a small private exhibition in a photographic studio.

An artwork of such size presents some challenges. Up to now I have been unable to enter it into art competitions, because most art competitions have size limits that this easily exceeds. Even if they wanted to display it, some galleries simply do not have a wall big enough. It was also too big for the studio we hired for my photo shoot. We had to shoot it in two sections, as you can see in some of the photos here.

I like the way people react to the sheer scale of this piece. There is often disbelief and I have literally seen people’s jaws drop. I have been asked how (and indeed why) someone would make something that big from things that small. I suppose it takes a certain amount of patience, dedication and maybe a little bit of an obsessive character. People often ask how many stamps are in this work and the answer is over 26,000.

Someone once asked where I thought I could ever display an artwork of this size. My answer now is the same as it was then: in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern.