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Crucifixion

WE NEEDED A NEW FAVOURITE ARTIST. AND WE FOUND ONE RIGHT UNDER OUR OFFICE. SEBASTIAN HORSLEY LIVED IN MEARD STREET IN SOHO. HE FREQUENTED BAR BRUNO. IN 2007, HE MODELLED FOR COMME DES GARCONS AND INSPIRED REI KAWAKUBO BUT BEFORE THAT, IN 2000, HE HAD HIMSELF CRUCIFIED IN THE PHILIPPINES. HE DID WHAT??!!

This is Sebastian. After the act. He traveled to the Philippines to have himself crucified. Sarah Lucas filmed the event and Dennis Morris took the photographs. This is the cover of the book Crucifixion published in 2002.

Don't believe it? Check this out. He really did have nails hammered through his hands. There is more documentary evidence of the event on this link. Every year a small number of Filipinos have themselves crucified for religious reasons. Horsley was the first westerner to experience it and he did it for art. The second part of the video is on this link. It takes a bit of watching!

By the way, our email subject line "I'll Live Without Kate Moss" comes from this diary entry, which also happens to be an amusing and enlightening account of Horsley's experience of being both a model and source of inspiration for Rei Kawakubo. The show he modeled for can be seen here.

Horsley was on something for most of his adult life: in 2000 it was a wooden cross. In his text to the book he says that for all the drugs he ever took he turned down painkillers on this occasion. Nothing compares to this.

He actually fell from the cross. The foot support broke off and he fell down dragging the nails out with him. Caught by his crucifixioners and held in some suspicion by the amassed crowd, Horsley himself looks almost serene. See more of the book on this link. We thought he had something of Sid Vicious about him but Dennis Morris said Dirk Bogarde and Dennis was spot on.

A painting inspired by the visions that overcame Horsley on the cross. He died again, and for real, in 2010 of an overdose. He's survived by a vivid and hilarious autobiography, from which comes our favourite quote: “I can count all the lovers I've had on one hand...if I'm holding a calculator.”

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