Arts The Livingest of Sculptures
posted by January 30 at 11:53 AMon
The Guardian has an entertaining profile of Gilbert & George. Here’s a snippet:
George’s theory is that homophobia is still alive and well, even in the supposedly liberal and bohemian art world. ‘There’s a lot of closet gay bashing,’ he says. ‘There are journalists who attack us without saying anything about that [their sexuality], but you can see clearly what it is. The Guardian once said: “They must be very unhappy, after all these years, of being called filthy queers.” The Guardian! Extraordinary!’ In fact, he thinks the art world and the media are a good deal less tolerant than the man on the street. In their real lives, no one ever abuses them.
‘No! They love us!’ says Gilbert.
‘Taxi drivers love us!’ adds George.
An editor at Thames & Hudson once told George that usually, with art, the critics and the artist must gang up to convince the public. But in the case of he and Gilbert, it has always been the other way round. ‘At our last show at the White Cube, there were 30,000 visitors.’
They expect Tate Modern to be equally swamped: people are mad for art just now - although, personally, he and Gilbert disdain gallery going.
Gilbert: ‘We don’t look at other artists.’
George: ‘We don’t socialise with other artists.’
Gilbert: ‘We haven’t been to a gallery in 30 years.’
George: ‘We don’t belong to the gallery-going class, you see.’
So they didn’t see Velasquez at the National Gallery? George yelps, as if stung. ‘Never! Why would I want to join a long line of middle-class twits? We want to see the world as it is, naked. We left the house the other day at 6.25am, and there in the street was a dead, flattened rat, and a crow feasting from it. That’s an amazing image, isn’t it? I shall remember it forever.’ At the memory of this ravenous crow and its macabre breakfast, the pair of them sip their Nescafe contemplatively.