Held at the White Cube Gallery, THE BEARD PICTURES AND THEIR FUCKOSOPHY is not just a mouthful to pronounce as well as a mouthful of bad works. I have respect for Gilbert and George and have always admired their work and exhibitions. But I must say this was one of the worst exhibitions I have seen in a long while.
Renowned for shocking, simple messages and themes per exhibition or piece, but this well and truly takes the biscuit. Throughout the whole exhibition this are the words ‘fuck’ tied to a saying or expression. They say: “the real thing that’s inside everybody’s heads”.
OK, but is this art?
In the three main rooms, there are large prints of both Gilbert and George against a stained-glass window with profanities and beards across the pieces. Ok. “Now we are seeing the whole world through a beard,” says Gilbert. “Good beards and bad beards, religious beards and non-religious beards. If you are Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, you are not allowed to cut the beard, and that interests us because they are all fencing each other off.”
Whatever they say, they do set out to shock, and honestly, I wouldn’t take my parents there. Not a chance. The other thing I have in my head is the fact that they have this partnership with the White Cube because they believe the Tate doesn’t focus on them enough. Gilbert said: “the Tate never shows our work and they will never, because nothing is good enough for them.” Despite the Tate Modern showcasing an exhibition in 2007. Really, this does reek of ego and pomp. Sorry this wasn’t for me but if you are a fan of Gilbert and George, hate gentrification and are blinkered towards living British modern artists then it’s worth a visit.
THE BEARD PICTURES AND THEIR FUCKOSOPHY is on until 28 Jan. The nearest tube is Bermondsey.