gilbert  george
What can we make of Gilbert & George? Have they just spent the last 40 years cementing their prominence in the world of modern art as “Living Exhibits” through their iconoclastic self-representation and their art, or have they just been having us on all these years? (They are not the only gay couple in the East End wandering around in natty suits). But I was pleasantly surprised by their latest offering at The White Cube Gallery in Hoxton (where else?).

The main feature is ‘MetalJack’  - a huge stained glass styled Brit pop art piece featuring themselves of course in Union Jack overload but very clever and stands up to any Warhol art (his screen prints of American icons in the main was frankly lazy work, but have now gone from pop art to iconic to priceless).The same could be said of Roy Lichtenstein or our very own Patrick Caulfield (I must confess to owning one).

I also Liked the badge & medal freemasonry theme incorporated in their work that reminds you of the pomp and class divide from the early 1900s and etched into the stained glass displays in the public schools & institutions of that time in England but without the religious overtones from their previous work but some of the current works veer from grooved up Brit art to bad photo shop.

Their press release describes their current work as “raising fundamental questions about religion, politics, economics, sex & death as pre-eminent modernists” – I can go for the modernist tag but the rest is pure guff. So, apart from ‘Xerxes’ I found the rest of the exhibits too similar in format and falling back on the homoerotic excesses of previous work.
gilbert  george
Years ago after a gig in Amsterdam some arty wankers took me to a Modern Art exhibition to see an avant-garde exhibit entitled ‘Axe Head’ which appeared to be a ramshackle display of everything the artist had in his garage and needed to get rid off, got an art grant and dumped in the museum……was it art or a garage sale? (I had my eye on the strimmer)

As a musician, I witnessed The Sex Pistols & The Clash desperately promoted as a new force in music, despite the fact they both ended up signing to the major record labels they chose to slag off and challenge, albeit their cultural validity. We now have the same in Tracey Emin & Damien Hurst -didn’t we all do half of what they have done at primary school?

So before Damien Hurst announces his tie-dye or finger painting collection, and if you haven’t yet checked out The National Portrait Gallery or The Tate (and I don’t mean Tate Modern where I recently slid down a water park tube without the water in the name of art) then check out Gilbert & George, at least they have some put some decent work in and have worked tirelessly to be art themselves and deserve a medal, in fact if you look closely I’m sure they have already done that and then take a wander round to The Bricklayers Arms for a decent pint of ale while you make your mind up.
gilbert  george  the bricklayer arms hoxton square

©  Words - David Cairns/ ZANI

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ZANI was conceived in late 2008 and the fan base gradually grew by word of mouth. Key contributors came from those of the music, film and fashion industry and the voice of ZANI grew louder. So, when in 2013 investor, contributor and fan of ZANI Alan McGee* offered his support to help restyle and relaunch the site it was inevitable that traffic would increase dramatically and continues to grow. *Alan McGee co-founder of Creation Records and new label 359 Music..


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ZANI is an independent online magazine for readers interested in contemporary culture, covering Music, Film & TV, Sport, Art amongst other cultural topics. Relevant to modern times ZANI is a dynamic website and a flagship for creative movement and thinking wherever our readers live in the world.