Gilbert & George
I went to see the Gilbert & George exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum of Art over winter break. Let me tell you, their art is crazy. These two London artists address war, sex, politics, religion, and bodily functions. Their earlier work includes mostly black and white sketches, but they are better known for their shocking large-scale pieces: digital collages of photographs, graphics, and color.
I didn’t understand a lot of their work, but I did enjoy it. There was everything from feces to naked bodies to psychedelic crowds of people to screaming, angry faces. Sometimes Gilbert & George have a specific political message, but sometimes it seems like they are just trying to send a message, any at all.
Gilbert & George paste real personals into their piece, alongside crude graffiti, eerie eye-shots, and photographs of themselves. There’s Gilbert pictured in front of the personals. Three giant panels took up an entire wall of the museum.
Gilbert & George appear in many of their pieces. Wikipedia tells me that for a while, they were known as “living sculptures.” They would color their face and hands, don a special suit, and sing for an entire day as sculptures. They would wear these suits for all public appearances, sending the message that they were always art, and art was always them.
Gilbert & George juxtapose battling bugs with battling human beings. Peaceful flowers and plants lining the sides contrast to the violence in the center. (There’s my friend Kelsey looking at the picture.)
G&G present us with “The Laws of Sculptors.” They sound playful and ironic, but I don’t think they’re kidding.