Lots of artists have been busy during lockdown, and lots of new artists have used the time to get creative and shame less creative people with their amazing skills/sense of colour/chutzpah. For the dons of London’s art world, though, Gilbert & George, it’s been business as usual. Maybe unsurprisingly, seeing as their life and work basically consists of a self-imposed lockdown bubble, the pair have been beavering away like a couple of lovely tweedy rodents to create their latest show. ‘New Normal Pictures’ goes on display from today (Tuesday March 2) online, then – fingers crossed – in actual real time and space from April 13.
‘New Normal Pictures’ develops Gilbert & George’s recent creative themes, with big colourful pieces based on photography picturing the pair desporting themselves in typical G&G style against a backdrop of recognisable London motifs. There are noz balloons and City towers, dumped mattresses and red phone boxes. Gilbert & George appear more Vic & Bob than ever, collapsing like unstringed marionettes amid the bus shelters and rough sleepers. Like most of their work, the pictures are sort of fun, horrible and oblique all at the same time, so you get proper value for money. They also make you think that G&G missed a trick in not doing a series of Zoom backgrounds last year.
They should work well online (not all art does, as we repeatedly discovered in 2020), and then it’ll be a real treat to go along and see them in the pink and blue flesh when London reopens. Of course, in Gilbert & George’s collective mind, it was never really open in the first place. Still, it’ll be nice for them to be able to go to Mangal 2 for dinner again.
Not into creepy art made by pensioners? How bout some spring flowers instead?