Their Life is Art
Filmmaker, Julian Cole first met Gilbert & George when he modelled for them in 1986. He decided that now they had photographed him he wanted to film them. His moving portrait filmed over 17 years, traces their lives from humble beginnings to their role on the world’s artistic stage where they have performed an enduring and controversial double act for over four decades.
Banned by the authorities and panned by the critics. They are loved and hated with unprecedented ferocity. This film probes the myths and reveals the individuals that are two people inside a single artist, a permanent living sculpture in which they are compelled to be inseparable from each other and their art. This intimate film biography helps open doors to the understanding of their unique visual language, their ‘humanistic art’ and what they believe the real legacy of the art of our times should be.
Gilbert & George have put their motto ‘Art for All’ into practice by mounting more exhibitions in museums and galleries than any other contemporary artist. Julian Cole has documented their groundbreaking shows in Russia, China and beyond to capture how their work transcends cultural barriers and reveals the ‘missionary zeal’ with which they take their art and themselves out into the world.
With Gilbert & George transports us out of the limelight and into the 18th Century home and studio they created together in 1969 in Spitalfields, East London. We see how their work not only documents their own remarkable and enduring artistic collaboration but also the transformation of their visually rich but financially poor, historic neighbourhood.