Gilbert & George: Ridin' Dirty with Art's Unlikely Hoodlums

"We like it very much when the pictures take over. When they’re bigger than the viewer. You go to a museum to look at a picture, but we like it when the picture looks at you."

Gilbert & George have for nearly fifty years produced a body of work that is inseparable from their double. Under the motto, "Art for All", the artists strive for accessibility of their work.

Wheel, 2004, depicts the artists superimposed, with an urban automotive aesthetic that retains a formal classicism.Their images, created through a mirror effect, lends their bodies a rigidity much like that of an ancient Egyptian or medieval statuary. Their eyes continue this quotation of history through their elongated flat white corneas and dark oversized pupils. The symbolism progresses even further with the large ovals surrounding the bodies which appear as Gothic cathedral niches. The overall echoing symmetry lends a kaleidoscopic feel.

Though Gilbert & George employ art historical themes, they also sample contemporary urban styles. The elevation of the wheels from luxury material item to high art imagery, along with the large "2004" stretching across the top of the work, is a repurposing of design tropes for hip-hop albums. This is reinforced with the use of Ferrari's logo colors as the palette. Wheel's mix of art historical forms, ideals of symmetry, and hip-hop aesthetic shows the artists' commitment to: "Art for All".

Wheel will be offered in our Contemporary Art and Design sale, 7 March 2013, in New York.