Gilbert & George


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The G spot

and George are two dandies who met at St Martin School of Art 1969 in London and never left each other since.
They launched the duo era in contemporary art, like Pierre and Gilles, Eva and Adele, Marc Dermott and Mac Gough, which becoma their strength.
In the very beginning , they exposed themselves in self proclaimed “living sculptures” performances, painted in copper, then singing sculptures.

They are their own subjects and objects. Beyond artistic narcicism, their person is their art vector until 1977. In less than 10 years they went through elitist conceptual Art to contemporary main street Art. Their Museum-workshop-home in Spitafield in far East London is a reflection of their intimate taste, inversly to their artistic style, like Warhol, a modern Style and Liberty Victorian Era paraphernalia (Symbolist paintings, pewter, enamel and somptuous ceramics, in the esthetic style of the 1900 master William Morris)

Successors of English Masters Pop Art Richard Hamilton and David Hockney they transcend and overtake their predecessors. From the utilization of small formats (photos and graphite) they rapidly go to big formats which are the important Artist universe in England.
The use of photography represents 3/4 of their graphic work.
For them, Art is communication and they seek to reach a public always wider.

In 1975, their themes “Hell” “The cross” “Human Bondage” are black and white paintings punctuated with red curves.

As early as 1977 they introduces new characters in their work, essentially street boys, blacks or bums, who suggest their social hardship, with a sexuality that turns into a pronounced homoerotism .

G and G creates an extraordinary porn collection that that talk about freely. Obsessed with themselves and man, taste for obscenity and provocation, illustration of modern fears. In 1980 utilization of strong primary colors, (blue, red, yellow, green) .Subject are circles with black contours which are reminiscent of cathedral's stained glass, the profane and the sacred within the obscene.(David Bowie's album cover)

At this point they are getting closer to reality. The form is only there to carry the content, it shouldn't dominate it. Formats are greater and greater and touch the "museal". Their success is worldwide. They exhibit from Sao Paulo to Tokyo, from Peking to Moscow and Paris.

In 1982 they abandon photography for a while for a primitive graphic that reminds us of Keith Haring, for the “Sexual Pictures”series. The impact of the blow overwhelms the viewer. The paradox of those two dandies, distinguished and humorous facing the subjects of sperm, saliva, blood and sex accentuates their moral message. Wearing bravely their gayness, they neither defend it or brag about it. Their messages are really universal and revolutionary, developing into the obsessions and the modern fears.

In 1983 with the utilization of multiple colors , street scenes with young people amongst themselves, symbol of hope, earth, youth, and sexuality on grand format will make them contemporary Art stars. A meta narcissism for everybody's benefit. If their prices are for the elite, their message is universal. For the last few years they took the direction of new technologies, digital, that allows them to create faster. Their strength reside in the fact that they are an "eagle with two crowns"- a Janus between communion and communication-
From 1969 living sculptures to today's living legends..

Patrick Sarfati - Translator Carole.Denis

Alessandra, Gilbert & George


Gilbert George

Saluting, Bridge & Pink, Cialis, English Massage, Denjackver, Two buses, Filthy wankers, Nine one six, Three bears, 2009

Mixed Media,

88 x 123 cm (34.65 x 48.43 in)

123 x 88 cm (48.43 x 34.65 in)


Report / Interview Sabine Morandini-Lisa Shelley
February 2011




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