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Gilbert & George - Franois Jonquet

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Gilbert & George - intimate conversations with Franois Jonquet
Franois Jonquet
Phaidon Press Limited
UK Publication Date

Despite their notoriety, Gilbert & George have always been reluctant to speak publicly, and have only occasionally published manifestos or given interviews. However, over the last ten years they have developed a close friendship with the Paris-based author and critic, Franois Jonquet, and have held with him a long series of interviews in which they have been willing to talk more candidly than ever before about their lives, their work, their feelings and motives, and their reaction to the many controversies they have generated. Gilbert & George: Intimate Conversations is a distillation of all these conversations, and it presents a portrait of the artists which has never before been revealed to the public.

These conversations comprise a riveting and monumental document: it offers a unique and unprecedented insight into the personalities and creative processes of two artists who have earned both enormous popularity and venomous critical hostility. In 13 chapters within a loosely thematic and chronological framework, Gilbert & George talk candidly and uninhibitedly. Sometimes serious, sometimes very funny and always sharp, lively and interesting, they explain the background and motivation behind their works, nearly 200 of which are illustrated with high-quality reproductions at the point in the text where they are discussed. The autobiographical sections are enriched with numerous documentary photographs from the artists' own collection, including many family photographs which have never been published before.

Fascinating, compelling and always enjoyable to read, these conversations are also a major personal and critical testament from two significant and influential contemporary artists who are deeply serious about their work. It is absolutely essential reading for teachers and students alike, as well as anyone with an interest in contemporary art and the debates that rage around it.

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Gilbert (born in the Dolomites, Italy, 1943) and George (born in Devon, 1942) met as art students at Central St. Martin's College of Art and Design in London, in 1967. Sacrificing their own identities to art, they made themselves into 'living sculptures', and have pursued a joint career of consistent iconoclasm. Seemingly oblivious to the controversies they have generated, they enjoy both popular acclaim and critical hostility with equal aplomb.

Franois Jonquet is a Paris-based journalist, author and art and film critic.

"A compelling insight into [Gilbert & George's] everyday enigma. The artists' unfailing politeness, consideration for others and open nature exert an irresistible charm. But it's Jonquet's walks with G & G around their home patch of Spitalfields that shed new light on the work, lavishly illustrated with accompanying personal photos."-Metro London

"Many monographs have appeared on this enigmatic and self-contained duo, but non as revealing as this beautifully illustrated series of conversations with a young French critic who, in the course of a friendship that has lasted over ten years, has succeeded in extracting intimate details bout their lives that make the two men more human while paradoxically enhancing their strangeness... Probably the most enjoyable, readable and intentionally amusing [book] you are ever likely to encounter on avant-garde artists of today."-Michael Jacobs, Art Quarterly

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