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Ray Sell
John McGregor

Gilbert & George

Gilbert and George Gilbert & George are photographer/collagists whose work is both political and disturbing but also tinged with a touch of British humor. Here is a great overview of the Gilbert & George art philosophy by Paul Laster:

Working collaboratively for more than 40 years, Gilbert & George have consistently been at the forefront of British contemporary art. Starting out as "living sculpture" — making "Art for All" — they evolved into fearless "picture"-makers, willing to tackle a broad range of social subjects. Inspired — or traumatized, as they call it — by their own recent retrospective, which traveled to six museums in Europe and the US, the two set to work on a new series of pictures, their largest ever, and are now debuting selections of the 153 unique works from the Jack Freak Pictures in Berlin and Paris.

Working with black-and-white photographs and computer manipulations of those images, Gilbert & George construct reflections of the world they inhabit in London's East End, a realm that functions as a microcosm for all urban soups where nationhood, tribalism, religion, and humanity interact. They call their pictures the "philosophical equivalents of automatic writing," with each one evolving from an "empty-headed approach." If that's the case, however, we should all just close our eyes and let the world around us come filtering through. It could lead to a greater understanding of who we are, where we are now, and where we're going.

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