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Gilbert and George

Gilbert Proesch (born September 11, 1943) and George Passmore (born January 8, 1942), better known as Gilbert and George, are artists. They have worked almost exclusively as a pair.

Gilbert was born in the Dolomites in Italy, and studied art in Munich before moving to England. George was born in Plymouth in the United Kingdom, and first studied art in Darlington and Oxford.

The two then studied sculpture at Saint Martin's School of Art[?] in London, where they first met. The two claim they came together because George was the only person who could understand Gilbert's rather poor English.

They were initially known as performance artists. While still students they made The Singing Sculpture (1970), for which they covered themselves in gold metallic paint, stood on a table, and mimed to a recording of Flanagan and Allen[?]'s song "Underneath the Arches", sometimes for hours at a time.

A number of works from the early 1970s consisted of the two of them getting drunk, usually on gin. Smashed (1973) was a set of photographs documenting a drunken evening, while Gordon's Makes Us Drunk is a film of the pair drinking Gordon's gin, occasionally saying "Gordon's makes us very drunk" and listening to classical music. This work, in common with many others by Gilbert and George, is executed in a completely deadpan way.

The matching business suits which they wore for these performances became a sort of uniform for them, and they rarely appear in public unless wearing them. It is also virtually unheard of for one of the pair to be seen without the other. They refuse to disassociate their performances from their everyday lives, insisting that everything they do is art. The pair regard themselves as "living sculptures".

The pair are perhaps best known for their large scale photo-montages, such as Cosmological Pictures (1993), frequently tinted in extremely bright colours and overlaid with black grids. Gilbert and George themselves often feature in these works. Their pictures often include potentially shocking imagery, including nudity, depictions of sexual acts, and bodily fluids, such as faeces, urine and semen.

It is widely assumed that Gilbert and George are gay lovers, although they always dismiss questions about this.

They won the Turner Prize in 1986.

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