Echoing their love affair, Pierre et Gilles’ artistic collaboration started in 1976, and has merged for the last 30 years their feelings and creativity into a unique artwork, combining photography and painting, that has now become incontrovertible within the French and international artistic scene.
Just like intimate reflections of their daily world, their creations unfurl like a large family album featuring their unknown or renowned friends. Their works are conceived as hand-painted photographs, through an established creative process.
They first draw a sketch of the work they have imagined together, and then they create themselves the set of their theatrical staging, using various tricks and accessories collected during their numerous journeys. They also imagine the costumes, hairdressing and make-up of their models, sometimes with the help of the best specialists. Then Pierre shoots the scene; next, Gilles paints the unique print with successive layers of paint and glaze, to achieve the sought-after picture. It results in a unique artwork, which is completed only when framed, the frame being also conceived specifically by the artists.
This is how Pierre et Gilles’ world materializes itself, a world where grace, humanism and sensuality transform glorified, deified and eroticized characters into new popular icons, who also sometimes display a very dark vision of life. Pierre et Gilles lay a message of tolerance and open-mindedness in the very heart of their works, abolishing all taboos and borders between popular imagery and fine arts, between academic art and contemporary aesthetics, endlessly reinventing portraiture.