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It Takes Two: “Gilbert & George” at the de Young

"Gilbert & George"
image courtesy of the de Young Museum

It seems strangely apt that legendary performance artists Gilbert and George find it essential to have a physical presence in their art. What to some might seem like narcissism, to these two partners-in-art-crime, is merely how they express themselves—straddling the line between art and performance. It’s a rare thing to have an artist—or in this case artists—bravely saunter into the direct focus of their work, while most creative types hide behind the integrity of their pieces allowing the art to visually speak for itself. With their new outstanding and larger–than-life retrospective at the de Young Museum simply titled “Gilbert & George,” these two long-time collaborators are bringing the viewer inside their unique world of art, photography and performance. Known for brazen performance pieces like the “Singing Sculpture,” in which they donned gold paint and sang for hours on end, this duo’s work is more like a visceral artistic assault then canvas decoration. With their more recent “photo-montages” the pair creates stained glass-like pieces full of symbolic and sexual imagery and, of course, cameos of themselves. Blurring the traditionally distinct lines between the art and artist, these two subversive visionaries have changed the definition of what it means to make art by being art. Come experience the world of Gilbert and George on Friday, February 15 when the de Young throws the opening party to kick off the exhibit with music courtesy of Penelope Houston and a spoken word performance by Jello Biafra.

“Gilbert & George” Opening Night Party on Friday, February 15
at the de Young Museum 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., 415-863-3330

“Gilbert & George” is on display at the de Young from Saturday, February 16 until Sunday, May 18.