A Portrait of The Artists as Young Men

Gilbert and George
`In their first collaboration after meeting at St. Martin's School of Art, Gilbert and George designated themselves living sculptures, and everything they did as art. In `A day in the life of Gilbert and George the sculptors' (Autumn 1971) they said: "Being living sculptures is our life-blood, our destiny, our romance, our disaster, our light and life. As day breaks over us, we rise into our vacuum and the cold morning light filters dustily through the window. We step into the responsibility-suits of our art. We put on our shoes for the coming walk. Our limbs begin to stir and form actions of looseness, as though without gravity they bounce about for the new day... The head afloat on top levels on the horizon of our thought...We like it because we are so stupid, artistic and shy. Because we have come from nowhere and where we go nobody knows.' Text from `Head First' catalogue, 1998: `The artists Gilbert and George met in 1967 when they were both studying sculpture at St. Martin's School of Art and their first collaborative works date from 1968. They became known for their singing sculpture `Underneath the Arches' and first worked with video in 1970. Two years later they agreed to make three further video works for the Dusseldorf gallery owner Gerry Schum. One of the three was a `Portrait of the Artists as Young Men' (the other two were `In the Bush' and `Gordon's Makes us Drunk'. For `A Portrait of the Artists as Young Men' the soundtrack of thunder and rain was taken from a sound effects record which was bought especially for the purpose. `"Thunder is a very emotion sound for the sculptors." As for the title, it was chosen, they, "just in terms of the nerves!" and continued: "We're so interested in portraiture. It's all one big portrait."'
  • Artwork Details: running time: 7 minutes
  • Edition:
  • Material description: video and certificate
  • Credit line: © The Artists 2006, courtesy Jay Jopling/ White Cube London.
  • Theme: Portrait
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: AC 1281



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