The best artists find beauty in the most unexpected of places, and these days it’s no different for UK duo Gilbert & George, who are amongst Britain’s foremost artistic talents. For their upcoming show at the White Cube Gallery, they’ve created a series of art installations using the calling cards of London’s sex workers.
Previously in their careers, Gilbert & George used postcards as found art in the works that helped launch them to fame, so their new series uses hundreds of cards, fliers and postcards from tourist destinations around the UK. Among those found advertising gems are the cards of sex workers, which are often left in London’s famous red telephone booths as a way to spread the word.
Among the cards used is a photo of a male torso with the text "Was born a girl. Sex changed to male. ½ only still girl. Handsome Turkish 21 yr old" and that image repeats 13 times in a Warhol-esque pop art work that the artists say refers to a Victorian clergyman disgraced decades ago.
About the art installation, critic Michael Bracewell says, “The artists reveal how that which appears tawdry, commercial, sentimental or base, no less than that which seems elevated, exquisite or enlightened, contributes to the pattern and voice of the modern world.”