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Pierre and Gilles
Double Je (1976 - 2007)
Jade Lobato de Faria, July 30, 2007
Pierre and Gilles_Saint Sébastien, 1991_Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont_Paris
Pierre and Gilles_Saint Sébastien, 1991_Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont_Paris
 
They have photographed pop and rock stars, icons from fashion, art, cinema, and nightlife as well as unknowns they have met throughout their lives. Their creations are the fruits of these specific meetings. They are always realised according to the same process, which the artists have mastered entirely: once the model and scene has been chosen they do a preliminary drawing and discuss the creation of the decor, costumes, and make up. The photography takes place in the studio, where the model comes to pose amongst the decor. This creates a unique print, which is then painted over. The work is only complete after the creation of a specifically made frame, conceived by the artists as an extension of the image.

"One big family. An aesthetics of reconciliation"

Extracts from the text by Paul Ardenne, published in the new catalogue edited by Taschen, about Pierre et Gilles, June 2007.



Pierre and Gilles_Nina Hagen, 1993_Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont_Paris
Pierre and Gilles_Nina Hagen, 1993_Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont_Paris
 
“Where Pierre et Gilles are concerned, there's no need for introductions. Their work is known worldwide and their unique style has spawned imitators all over, especially in advertising and the vast field of fashion photography. (…) Dazzlement, of course, is precisely what the work of Pierre et Gilles, overflowing with superlative beauty, has provided with unmatched constancy for thirty years now (Iggy Pop, 1977). But not only that. Drawing its taste for seductive visual formulas from popular aesthetics, the archetypal Pierre et Gilles image - an enhanced portrait - is also characterised by its deliberately protean and ambiguous excess. Not only is the composition beautiful, but the image is staged in a deliberately exaggerated way. The colour is extremely refined, but also over the top. The rendering is extremely precise, but also smoothed and beautified, with a turbo-charged and slightly louche kitsch spirit. The models are referred to by their first names in the titles but at the same time wrested from their concrete reality by a sartorial transfiguration and style of presentation that makes them emblems more than humans. Ambiguity is everywhere. Even in the plastic celebration of the human body. However transparent this is, in Pierre et Gilles it is inevitably equivocal. (…)

Ever since they began working together, in 1976, Pierre has been the one who takes the photographs and Gilles the one who paints. That is the hallowed formula. Since then there have been no changes to this practice by four hands (…)

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