PORTFOLIO > Robbie Williams
The publicity surrounding Artists Rifles and Make My Night had by now extended beyond the denizens of the fine art world and had bought Paul's work to the attentions of Tom Hingston, the graphic designer responsible for many of Robbie Williams' record covers including Sing When You're Winning.
The chosen theme for the project was Robbie's love of football, a hitherto closed book for Paul and Tom. For research purposes they attended an Arsenal v Chelsea game. The ideas with which they came away were about the whole experience of going to (and playing) football. The vast hoard of football photography and paraphernalia gave Paul additional inspiration for the pictures and he used the nostalgic charm of past records to complement the glamour of the modern game.
In a light-hearted take on Paul's previous work, Robbie was to be his own fantasy football team; plus opposition, management, fans, touts and policemen. Unlike his other projects, Paul had to complete the shoot in three days and the whole project, from initial research to the finished body of work, in three months. A task that would ordinarily take a whole year.
Having completed the initial stages of planning, Paul arrived at Stamford Bridge, the home ground of Chelsea FC, with a series of sketches laying out the foundations and detailing every aspect of the images to be produced. Between Paul, Tom and Robbie a gruelling schedule had been set out for the following days. Fortunately, Robbie did not bring with him an ego to match the size of the stadium and was happy to cooperate with the endless makeup and costume changes. Robbie quickly grasped the concept of the shoot and added a unique character to each of the roles he played.