Tuesday, February 19, 2008

gilbert and george


When I first saw the Gilbert and George image on the Bay Area Art Quake review, I was excited. I will visit San Francisco soon – where I spent five fabulous and formative years – so I can check out this exhibition. Then I finished the rest of Anna Conti’s account and realized how strange G and G must come off to the uninitiated. Not just strange but downright old fashioned. It refreshed my view about the fellows, but I still have a perverse attachment....

True: balding men in suits, gazing often at each other, body parts and body fluids – not exactly my thing, at least as descriptive words on paper.

And yet when I look at a Gilbert and George, and I’ve been doing that since at least the 80s, I just see grids of bright colors, crisp outlines in black and graphic gyration. They married color and some concerns generally attributed to paint with black and white photomontage. I tend to forget all the narrow, self-absorbed, inbred and potentially sexist references. Is this bad or good? I'll still probably see the show.

While in NYC I saw a lot of G and G, at Sonnabend and also some gallery on 57th, which did a great postcard exhibition. Like me, they collect picture postcards. They did what I always wanted to do – montaged them in a bombarding, repeat fashion.
The name of my gallery came from a Gilbert and George. I’ve had this postcard (above) for years, long before the gallery was a glimmer in my eye.

10 comments:

Anna L. Conti said...

Hi Eva - I didn't see the show - I was reblogging from L7 at Glittering Generalities (links at top & bottom of the post). You're the second person (that I know of) who thought I had written it myself, so I guess I'll have to be more explicit about my sources in the future.

My personal feelings about the boys fall somewhere between yours and hers. But I loved her writing and couldn't resist including the whole thing.

Anna L. Conti said...

Also - sorry, but I had to close comments on our blog because we acquired a troll, and s/he was taking up too much of our time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I got confused about the source, Anna... it was, anyway, an amusing account!

...maybe I'll see you when I go down south...?


E

tackad said...

That's the thing about Gilbert and George - you really don't like everything they have to say and how they say it, but they are absolutely at the top of thier game. They have got their (unique) oeuvre DOWN !!

Anonymous said...

Hey tackad,
I am glad you visited and posted because I have been thinking alot about G and G and wanted to get back to them...

Here's the deal: I bought that catalogue from the exhibition and have been looking it over since back at the ranch. One thing that is very impressive is their "art is for everyone" manifesto and schick.

Yet. I never see any women in any of their art, save for the postcard montages which feature the Queen and Diana. Those are the ONLY images of females in their vast oeuvre, in that entire catalogue.

I'm not sure what to think of this. First of all, plenty of men have painted women, often naked, throughout the years and I don't really need to see more. So I don't know what I am asking for, if anything. Just an observation that "art for everyone" does not include women.

Eva

tackad said...

to anonymous - they're gay.
. . . duh ! haha
really.

Eva said...

hi tackad, that was me, Eva.

yeah I know they're gay but that doesn't exclude them from anything.
And I think it's cool if they address only their world, whatever that is, but the "art for everything" stance still leaves me a little puzzled...

(of course I am probably just not getting something - like they don't give a rip)

tackad said...

Not to beat a dead horse, but if you look at THEIR world, then the title fits perfectly.
I quite sure they had no intention of being politically correct or any other kind of correct, for that matter.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, what is this piece called? I'm in year 9 and am doing Gilbert & George for my art coursework. I'm supposed to do a critical analysis, but am a bit stuck...

Anonymous said...

Lovelake. That's the name of the piece.