Impressions from the opening night of the exhibition "Clair-Obscur" by Pierre & Gilles at the Museum in Ixelles.
Having bought my first postcards with their works printed on them as a teenager I absolutely had to go to this show. And yes, the queue was around the block but it was totally worth it!!
This museum is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pierre's & Gilles' career. They are a couple professionally but also romantically (and were actually present at the vernisage!! Very cool!!!!).
Their style has evolved quite a bit since 1976 but even in the very beginning you could already detect hints of what it would be like later on.
Their speciality is taking photographs with perfect decors and lighting (often times of famous people, like Madonna, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Stromae and many more), regularly staging their images in a biblical or mythological theme, and then finishing it of beautifully by painting the background and/or surroundings with acrylic paint. This is done in a way that it's almost photorealistic and you mostly wonder about which parts are painted and which are not.
As they are dedicated to getting all the details (that includes the frames) right and their highly meticulous work process, they usually produce only 12-18 works per year. Each piece is unique. Knowing that the prices vary from 20 000€ to 150 000€ assures me that sometimes it luckily does pay off to choose the difficult path of becoming an artist. And yes, their work is extremely colourful, glossy and on several occasions certainly bordering on kitsch... but my gosh, it's the most amazing kitsch you've ever seen!!
A toast to Pierre & Gilles!! You've done it again, gentlemen!!!!