I first heard of Gilbert & George a couple of weeks ago. The artists, both in their late 70s, are leaving the Royal Academy because an upcoming show in the Academy’s Picadilly’s galleries is not going to happen.
I still have to look more into their body of work, but I’ve already stumbled upon a gem: Gilbert & George’s Laws of Sculptors, a four-point manifesto authored in 1969 (the friends met in art school in 1967).
- Always be smartly dressed, well groomed relaxed friendly polite and in complete control
- Make the world to believe in you and to pay heavily for this privilege
- Never worry assess discuss or criticize but remain quiet, respectful and calm.
- The lord chisels still, so don’t leave your bench for long.
Delightful! In four sentences, Gilbert & George convey urgency (4), and poke fun at English stereotypes (1 and 3).
They also make a powerful statement (2) about the status of the artist in our society. It clashes with the other edicts, and sounds a lot like something Paul Arden would write!
What is your favorite art manifesto? Please drop a comment or find me on Twitter.
Photo credit: DarTar CC-BY-SA-4.0.