Why is it that whenever you’re in desperate need of buying presents for a someone else, you come across several options for yourself instead? The past few weeks I’ve been traipsing around trying to conclude the Crimbo wish-list but – being the selfish lout that I am – I’ve been steadily adding to my own wish-list. Top of which is this…
^ Pierre et Gilles Complete Works by Taschen
For those of you who are not Jean Paul Gaultier-devotees/Madonna-obsessed/homo-themed art dealers/avid fans of kitsch, Pierre et Gilles are a duo of French photographers who construct some of the most stunning portraits renowned for their unabashedly gaudy and gay aesthetic.
^ Le Petit Communiste Christophe (1990)
Their work is heavily constructed with most of the portraits featuring sets and costumes designed by the pair (who are also lovers – cute!), half-naked models (most often male), mythological overtones and serious re-touching to give the effect reminiscent of cheap religious artworks (for Irish readers, think your Granny’s old Sacred Heart in the kitchen). They’ve also created invites for Thierry Mugler shows and count legendary Parisienne actress Catherine Deneuve as a fan.
^ St. Sebastian of the Sea (1994)
^ La Madone au coeur blessé (1991)
^ Mercury (2001)
I’m not denying this is all youth-adoring fetishism and barely veiled (probably not at all, really) homo-eroticism but who said art had to be high-art in order to be appreciated?
Anyway, it’s not all glitter and vacuousness, the Madone au coeur blessé is really quite subversive when you think about it – a pretty boy in drag as the Madonna? Religion, something usually seen as persecuting homo- and non-normative sexuality, is quite openly given a good bashing. What say you?