The duo began creating art together in 1967 when they met at London’s St. Martins School of Art, and from the beginning, in their films and “living sculpture,” they appeared as figures in their own art. Gilbert & George believe that everything is a potential subject matter for their art, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos, and artistic conventions. Implicit in their practice is the idea that an artist’s sacrifice and personal investment is a necessary condition of art. They have depicted themselves as naked figures in their pictures, recasting the male nude as something vulnerable and fragile rather than as a potent figure of strength.
Gilbert & George occupy a unique position among contemporary artists of the last half-century and have built up a vast body of work that has earned them international acclaim. In 1986 the duo won the Turner Prize, in 2005 they represented Britain in the Venice Biennale, and they have been the subjects of numerous museum solo shows and retrospectives around the world.