Gilbert & George is an artist duo made up of Gilbert Proesch y George Passmore, known for their provocative and eccentric "living sculptures", drawings, photographic montages and engravings.
Often taking their personal lives and their immediate surroundings as starting points, the duo navigate themes such as sexuality, racial tension, violence, and religion.
Gilbert and George have been working together since they met as students at central saint martins en London, in 1967.
Describing their relationship in life and work, Gilbert and George have said, "It's not a collaboration... we're two people, but one artist."
The duo is well known for declaring their lives as art and for organizing performances in which they introduced themselves as "living sculptures".
For his iconic work The Singing Sculpture (1969-1991), the couple dressed in business suits, painted their faces with bronze powder, and sang and danced to the song from the time of the Depression Underneath the Arches, with a choreography that recalls the movements of androids or puppets.
In video works from this period, the duo, again dressed in business suits, engage in mundane activities such as drinking their favorite brand of gin (Gordon's Makes Us Drunk, 1972) in an attempt to confuse the hierarchy between art and the banal.
Suiting would become a defining characteristic of Gilbert & George, not only in their artwork, where they almost always appear in a suit (if they wear clothes), but also in everyday life, donning suits for interviews, exhibitions, and even for mundane activities, such as taking a walk.
Throughout the decades that followed, Gilbert and George continued to engage with social issues while incorporating bright colors into their photographic assemblages.
Since the early 2000s, Gilbert & George have been working digitally, but conceptually, their personal lives remain at the core of their practice.
In 2017, they presented a new body of mixed-media prints in an exhibition titled The Beard Pictures at Lehmann Maupin's NY.
By representing themselves as bearded creatures with hair made of various and unlikely sources (wire mesh, flowers, tree leaves, and beer foam, among others), the artists explored the beard as a symbol of a larger social structure.