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Pierre et Gilles, 40

The famous duo has been producing these excentric images and retouched them with a certain corny style for forty years now. This art form of theirs started in the effervescent 70s, what were called the "Palace years" (for the famous nightclub of the time) and was nourished by a gay and exotically influenced iconography, mostly by the sweet images of popular Egyptian songs. It resisted well into the XXIst century. Pierre Commoy (born in 1950) and Gilles Blanchard (born in 1953) met at the inauguration of the Kenzo boutique on place des Victoires in 1976. The younger one of the two was crazy about the photobooths and collages, the elder took photos. The two together gave birth a a specific artistic style, shown for the first time in the magazine Façade in 1976: photos enhanced in bright colors, circled with strass, gold and flowers. Among the icons the pair dealt with are Catherine Deneuve, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nina Hagen, Arielle Dombasle, Zahia and more recenlty Béatrice Dalle as Lucrecia Borgia. A very corny who’s who, interspersed with ironic self portraits in which the two represent themselves as a wedding couple, as presidents, and even as Tamul mafia leaders.

Pierre et Gilles, 40, Flammarion, 2016, 400 p., €95

Pierre et Gilles, 40 -

Review published in the newsletter #447 - from 3 November 2016 to 9 November 2016

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