Can an artist sell someone their own name for £1,000,000?

The story.

Artist Steve Porter launches the Signed99 project on September 17th where he will offer to paint super-sized versions of people’s signatures as a twist upon the traditional portrait.

There are only 99 commissions available, with prices ranging from £1 to £1,000,000, depending on which unique number in the set is purchased. This strikingly egalitarian pricing structure makes the project available to anyone and everyone.

The business.

Signed99 “Signature Portraits” are boldly sized at 3’/4’ (91cm/122cm) each and incorporate a reversed double signature to ensure aesthetic balance within each piece.

Swirling layers of paint surround every line with texture. Clients upload a photo of their signature upon ordering. The Signed99 logo and the unique number purchased is displayed upon both sides of the deep edged canvas.

Every commission includes free delivery and a bottle of Champagne, worldwide.

Within the set of 99, the first ten are under £500 and the first twenty are under £1000, ensuring their universality and availability to all.

Numbers 86-99 are where things get particularly pricy.

The talking (and the thinking).

Quotes from artist Steve Porter:

“The Signed99 project is a reflection upon the currency of our personal identification, our self-branding, our logo…”

“While being made up of 99 individual paintings, the whole project is an artwork.”

“Perhaps Signed99 seeks to shine a wry light upon our individualism, our self-celebration, by creating an heirloom, or an ID legacy?

Perhaps Signed99 exists to observe the inherent competitiveness of our nature, the resulting inequalities, and the way in which we (are culturally encouraged to) compare value and worth?

Perhaps with humanity at such a crossroads, there never been a more appropriate time for this project?”

The marketing.

Signed99 launches publicly on 17-9-21.

In the lead up to this, Steve has invited a small number of people to a virtual “Private View” accessing the website via the password “yes”.

Invitations were sent out in ultra-cool black boxes.

“Social media is a bit old-fashioned these days - it all feels a bit fuddy-duddy,” Steve said.

The question.

Can an artist sell someone their own name for £1?

The call to action.

The password is yes before 17th September 2021, for exclusive “Private View” access.

Steve Porter


Notes to Editors

The contact information.

Steve Porter +44 (0) 7769 667487

The website.
is open to the public on 17th September 2021.
Prior to this date, the “Private View” is accessible via the password: yes
The Signed99 website uses innovative and exciting images of Steve’s own “self-portrait” signature to represent each of the 99 commissions available to purchase.
The tone is entertaining.
There is also a gallery of other (aesthetically similar) artworks available to purchase, sustaining the brand “look”.

The background.

What makes Signed99 even more interesting is that Steve is an unknown in the so-called “art world”. He has spent the last 20 years creating art collaboratively through visiting schools and other community projects across the UK. This very often involved creating large outdoor murals and sculptural installations.
“I probably learned everything I know about art by making art with kids,” Steve said.
Signed99 evolved to an extent as a response to the Covid pandemic, which prevented him from travelling and working as before, with schools either closed or adopting bubble systems.
So: can a complete unknown transcend the beaten paths to glory with one single incredible idea?

The history.

The story behind the Signed99 project began back in July 1991, when Steve’s own signature was assessed to reveal his character by a slot machine in an arcade on the famous Brighton Pier.
The machine’s description of Steve via his signature was uncomfortably accurate. The memory of this experience stuck around for quite a few years and evolved into the idea of using signatures as portraits.
In 2018 Steve produced a “self-portrait” using his own name. It was incredible to see his name so triumphantly re-scaled and he eventually concluded that other (confident individuals) might want to enjoy this experience for themselves, with their own signatures.

Welcome to the Signed99 art project…

The protagonist, again.

Steve Porter +44 (0) 7769 667487
is open to the public on.
Prior to 17th September 2021 the password:


Attached Media

About Signed99

...Signed99 is an art project consisting of 99 commissions, painting people's signatures. Signed99 comments upon with the way our identities are currently shared, traded, protected and used while the shape of our name can reveal our character, the way a traditional portrait might. Signed99 is priced so that it is an art project available to everyone, with paintings ranging from £1 to £1m, with a free bottle of champagne with every commission, further fulfilling the project's core egalitarian principles. The man behind the Signed99 project is artist Steve Porter. Steve spent 20 years as an artist going into schools up and down the UK making murals and sculptures with children before Covid wrestled his business to the ground. To an extent, Signed99 is a phoenix from the Covid flames. Whether it soars or squawks remains to be seen...

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