Gilbert & George



Gilbert & George born 1943, born 1942
28 photographs, gelatin silver print on paper with dye and silver leaf on board
Object: 2410 x 3510 mm
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008

Not on display

Display caption

Many of Gilbert & George’s pictures from the 1980s include a cast of young men. Having installed special lighting equipment in their studio, they were able to capture images of the youths with a greater degree of control. ‘We devoted all our power to making them totally beautiful’, they have said. In pictures such as Existers, the youths are arranged into powerful compositions, living embodiments of potency and strength. Such depictions of young men aroused considerable hostility among critics, who accused Gilbert & George of being exploitative, and wrongly described the youths as rent boys or East End thugs.

Gallery label, February 2010