press release

The famous British artist duo will introduce themselves to the Zagreb audience with their new exhibition entitled Jack Freak Pictures.

It consists of 60 pieces dedicated to their favourite topics, such as death, religion, life, hope, and money, in which they especially focus on the Union Jack.

Who are Gilbert and George? Englishman George Passmore (1942) and Italian Gilbert Proesch (1943) are among the most original living artists.

They even resemble each other. Except for a single physical detail, they agree in everything and never separate: the two are an intimate and artistic couple who have turned themselves into a provoking brand. They are always dressed in suits and ties, aspiring to be “living sculptures” and a part of their exhibitions. Their first performances took place in the 1970s and consisted in getting drunk in public. They are always provoking and yet all their acts are well planned. In their art, they mostly deal with religion, sexuality, race, and similar topics, and it is difficult to discern elements of private life in their artistic actions, since these two spheres largely overlap. Since the beginnings of their activity in 1967, they have continuously shifted borders in defining the notion of art, thereby remaining what they have always been – living sculptures. Their artistic actions and artworks, monumental in their format, are an inevitable constituent of 20th-century art, since they have been included in collections of major world museums and galleries.

The exhibition Jack Freak Pictures includes a film called The World of Gilbert and George, which the authors have written and directed themselves. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see a documentary called Tim Marlow with Gilbert and George. All these elements offer a deep insight into the creative opus of the famous couple – since the exhibition is both large and innovative. It was first presented in February in Malaga and MSU Zagreb will host it from June to September.

In a text accompanying the exhibition, Michael Bracewell has written: “Gilbert & George have been creating extraordinary large-scale pictures together for more than 40 years, continually broaching such socially loaded topics as religion, sexuality and racial discrimination in their own visually arresting style. With over 150 color illustrations, this publication documents the artists' recent series Jack Freak Pictures, their largest sequence to date. The Jack Freak Pictures focus on the British national flag, the Union Jack, examining all of its connotations-from national pride and pageantry to Cool Britannia, football and even civic disobedience. Attiring themselves in medals and amulets and casting themselves against London street scenes, maps and the zinging red, white and blue of the national flag, Gilbert & George are once again not only the creators, but also the inhabitants of their own brash visual world.“

British Council is the co-sponsor of the exhibition.

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Gilbert & George
Jack Freak Pictures