Gilbert and George Artist Biography
Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore met in 1967 as students at St Martin's School of Art in London. Their desire to communicate beyond the narrow confines of the art world, adopting the slogan "Art for All" has resulted in them becoming household names, and their impeccably-dressed figures are instantly recognisable to the general public.Although working in a variety of media, Gilbert and George refer to all their work as sculpture.They established their reputation in 1969 with The Singing Sculpture. Standing together on a table, they danced and sang the Flanagan and Allen standard "Underneath the Arches". After being invited to present The Singing Sculpture all over the world they realised, that they could reach only a handful of people at a time, and began to create films and pictures that could extend the idea of living sculpture without requiring their physical presence. In 1971 they made their first "photo-pieces", which remain their dominant form of expression. The emphasis of their work has moved away from their own experiences of life and concentrated on the inner-city reality that confronted them on the street and on the structures and feelings that inform life such as religion, class, royalty, sex, hope, nationality, death, identity, politics and fear. Their desire to make an "Art for Life's Sake" and an "Art for All" underlines their belief that art can still positively break down barriers. George was born in Devon in 1942. Gilbert was born in Italy in 1943, in a small village in the Dolomites. Read our editorial featuring Gilbert and George: Drawn Together: Artists in Love.