Gilbert and George: What Our Art Means

Art for All

We want Our Art to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to People about their Life and not about their knowledge of art. The 20th century has been cursed with an art that cannot be understood. The decadent artists stand for themselves and their chosen few, laughing and dismissing the normal outsider. We say that puzzling, obscure and form-obsessed art is decadent and a cruel denial of the Life of People.

Progress Through Friendship

Our Art is the friendship between the viewer and our pictures. Each picture speaks of a ‘Particular View’ which the viewer may consider in the light of his own life. The true function of Art is to bring about new understanding, progress and advancement. Every single person on Earth agrees that there is room for improvement.

Language for Meaning

We invented and we are constantly developing our own visual language. We want the most accessible modern form with which to create the most modern speaking visual pictures of our time. The art-material must be subservient to the meaning and purpose of the picture. Our reason for making pictures is to change people and not to congratulate them on being how they are.

The Life Forces

True Art comes from three main life-forces. They are: – 


In our life these forces are shaking and moving themselves into ever changing different arrangements. Each one of our pictures is a frozen representation of one of these ‘arrangements’.

The Whole

When a human-being gets up in the morning and decides what to do and where to go he is finding his reason or excuse to continue living. We as artists have only that to do. We want to learn to respect and honour ‘the whole’. The content of mankind is our subject and our inspiration. We stand each day for good traditions and necessary changes. We want to find and accept all the good and bad in ourselves. Civilisation has always depended for advancement on the ‘giving person’. We want to spill our blood, brains and seed in our life-search for new meanings and purpose to give to life.

Originally Published in Studio International
May 1970 | vol. 179 | no. 922

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