New York

Gilbert & George

Lehmann Maupin/Sonnabend Gallery

The reigning queer couple of the art world, Gilbert & George have flaunted their X-rated passions in enormously celebratory and occasionally shocking photographic tableaux for three decades, since long before “identity politics” coalesced as a movement or homoeroticism in contemporary art achieved critical mass and garnered scholarly attention. The shameless British pair—incongruously conservative-looking middle-aged white guys—take much inspiration from the vitality of ethnic street culture in East London, the grounded comings and goings of day-to-day life in their Whitechapel neighborhood, and the smiling faces of the beautiful young boys who repeatedly adorn their art.

Gilbert & George’s brand of pop social studies is refracted through the lens of their own desire, fear, pleasure, and pain—nothing appears sanitized or held back. As self-portraiture bordering on full-blown narcissism,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW and save up to 65% off the newsstand price for full online access to this issue and our archive.

Order the PRINT EDITION of the March 2005 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.