by Red Cell
Über-fashion conscience artist, writer and scenester, Sebastian Horsley was found dead of a suspected overdose today at the age of 47. His death comes only eight days after the premiere of a play directed by Tim Fountain in London’s West End, based on Horsley’s autobiography, “Dandy in the Underworld“. Earlier this month, Horsley told The Times of London that he was a bit uncomfortable seeing someone play him on stage, saying, “seeing one’s own doppelganger is an omen of death.”
Horsley was well known for his extreme lifestyle, openly doing drugs, gambling, alcoholism, prostitution, his highly dysfunctional childhood and a unique sense of high fashion. All of these things were lived quite ecstatically in the public eye. His dysfunctional childhood was often cited as the impetus for his own extremism. He modeled himself after Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde, and was often seen in a top hat and velvet coat with bright red nails. His entourage included such underground musical legends as Coil, Current 93 and Nick Cave among many others eccentric artists and musicians.
What most people remember Horsley for was his near tragic self crucifixion in 2000. He wanted to study the crucifixion as part of a series of paintings he was planning, and so traveled to the Philippines to have himself crucified. A support for his feet broke and right before the nails ripped through his hands, he was held up and taken down from the cross. (See video below)
Horsley was also a well known writer who wrote for the Erotic Review from 1998 to 2004 and a weekly sex advice column in The Observer before having his column discontinued in 2006 due to his graphic descriptions of oral and anal sex. In 2008 Horsley was denied entrance to the US on grounds of “moral turpitude.” Horsley took this in stride saying that he had prepared for the visit; his one concession: removing his nail polish.
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