About this artwork

Many of Gilbert & George’s pictures in the 1980s include a cast of young men. Having installed special lighting equipment in their studio, they were able to capture images of the youths with a greater degree of control. “We devoted all our power to making them totally beautiful”, they have said. In pictures such as ‘Existers’, the youths are arranged into powerful compositions, living embodiments of potency and strength. Such depictions of young men aroused considerable hostility among critics, who accused Gilbert & George of being exploitative, and wrongly described the youths as rent boys or East End thugs.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
  • date created:
  • materials:
    28 photographs, gelatin silver print on paper with dye and silver leaf on board
  • measurements:
    241.00 x 351.00 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Gilbert & George

Gilbert & George