Gilbert & George, Nurul 2001

Gilbert & George
Nurul 2001
Private collection

In 2003, the artists abandoned their established working method and began to design their pictures using digital technology. Rather than laboriously project each element onto the individual panels, they arranged scanned images on the computer screen. Now they could work faster, and explore a new range of technical possibilities.

The group that followed, the HOOLIGAN PICTURES, are filled with malign energy. ‘The group relates to something that doesn’t function properly, a shattered human being who misbehaves’ they explained. ‘There’s something incomplete, unbalanced about the way we depict ourselves here’. Creating symmetrical versions of themselves by doubling a half-image, like a mirror reflection, the artists become disturbing presences, suggesting a schizophrenic vision of the world.

In the PERVERSIVE PICTURES Gilbert & George surround themselves with images drawn from the street, including ornate graffiti tags and flyers posted by radical Islamic groups. Many of these pictures focus on religious zealotry and intolerance. HARAM incorporates a found text condemning ‘man-made law’, while CLEAN ME is an unsettling image with implications of homophobia.