I went to see the Gilbert & George exhibit on Sunday, and had to run off to work, so I didn't get a chance to write about it then (such is my packed schedule). So, I'll be breaking the rules a bit; first by not getting to the museum by the due date to complete the assignment, and second by not writing immediately after the show (both out of character but such is life).
I was glad that I had the opportunity to research the artists before seeing the exhibition. Seeing as how the work of Gilbert & George could have the ability to offend. One of my classmates told me that he saw many a family turn into the exhibit and then turn right back out. Could it have been the photo montage that included a 20 foot tall cross made of s*^t?
They're not joking when they say that they "put themselves" into every piece. They incorporate themselves into 99.9% of the work; either by their own image, or their bodily fluids. The fact that they started the former part in the last 15 years, while they were in their late 50's is interesting.
I was not that impressed by the choices they made in color and repetition of image. And then I remembered that a lot of them were done pre-Photoshop and changed my mind. But there was one, that I stood in front of for a while called Existers from 1984:
What does it mean? Why are only their ears, lips and clothing brightly colored? Why is (Gilbert?) on the floor? Why the trendy 80's colors? Why? Thoughts?
One thing that I was thinking a lot about was the way that they explained their idea of "Art For All". They said that this century is plagued by the notion of art being for the few people that are "in the know" and that this secrecy makes it impossible for "normal people" to understand art. Think Marcel Duchamp's "Fountain". Their work is most definitely not as simple as Jeff Koons or Thomas Kincade, the people that I think of as making easily understandable "Art for All". Do you want something to be so obvious upon first glance that it doesn't teach you anything or make you think differently? This is definitely the part that I appreciate most about art. So does this mean that conceptually, their work is more shallow than I think?
I definitely enjoyed watching peoples' reactions to the work and the scale was pretty amazing. I'm also really excited that I purchased a membership, and I only live 1.5 miles away. Morning trips will be a must.