You’ll probably recognise the work of Pierre and Gilles even if you may not have heard the name before. They are a dazzlingly creative artistic partnership who have produced bold and highly stylised photographs since the 1980’s. They have collaborated with Jean Paul Gaultier producing the iconic sailor posters for the designer’s fragrance and they have photographed the likes of Kylie and Dita Von Teese. Mixing pop, kitsch, religious iconography, humour and gay culture their creations are rich, luscious and incredibly detailed.
I came across Pierre and Gilles when I was a teenager. I saw a series of their prints in one of my sister’s magazines; I have in mind that it was Kerrang! but I can’t imagine why it would be running a series of Pierre and Gilles prints so it’s more likely to have been Elle. I immediately snaffled the below picture and stuck it on my bedroom wall. From there it influenced my tastes and style possibly more than the Addams Family and Dolly Parton combined, and that’s saying something. I am mildly obsessed with this picture; it somehow sums up so many things that appeal to me that I can’t quite explain. It’s actually currently serving as my phone wallpaper.
It’s amazing how personally influential one picture can be.
Here are a few more examples of Pierre and Gilles incredible work.
I did have a lovely Pierre and Gilles diary given to me by my sister for Christmas a few years ago and I really wanted to photograph it because the colours are just so vibrant. Sadly I seem to have lost it which is entirely out of character for me but hopefully it will turn up one day.
This is just a small taster of the pair’s mammoth output over the years and there are several nice chunky coffee table books of their work available. I will buy one one day but I fear I may lose a week or two swimming in them.