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  Pierre & Gilles  (1950/53 - )

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Lived/Active: France      Known for: Hand-painted photographs

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Pierre et Gilles, Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard, are French artists and romantic partners. They produce highly stylized photographs, building their own sets and costumes as well as retouching the photographs. Their work often features images from popular culture, gay culture including pornography (especially James Bidgood), and religion.

Pierre Commoy, the photographer, was born in 1950 in La Roche-sur-Yon. Gilles Blanchard, the painter, was born in 1953 in Le Havre. In the early 1970s, Blanchard took a degree at the École des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre, while Commoy studied photography in Geneva.

In 1974, Blanchard moved to Paris to paint and make illustrations for magazines and advertisements. Commoy started working as a photographer for the magazines Rock & Folk, Dépèche Mode and Interview.

In autumn 1976, Commoy and Blanchard met at the inauguration of a Kenzo boutique in Paris, and started living together in an apartment in Rue des Blancs-Manteaux that they also use as a studio. Next year they started working together; Blanchard would do the painting and Commoy took the photos. Their public breakthrough came with their images for the magazine Façade, with portraits of Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop.

In 1979 they moved to the Bastille quarter, made their first works for Thierry Mugler, designed record sleeves for artist friends, and shot fashion ads and portraits for magazines. They also made their first trip to India, a country which has inspired much of their work.

In 1983 Pierre et Gilles had their first personal show at Galerie Texbraun in Paris.

In 1984 they worked extensivlely for musical artists such as Mikado (for whom they directed their first video), Sandii, Etienne Daho, Sheila and Krootchey.

In 1987 they again travelled to India, and started working on religious and mythological themes.

In 1989 they became friends with Marc Almond, with whom they would work with for many years.

In 1993 Pierre et Gilles were awarded the Grand Prix de Photographie by the City of Paris; and produced art work for Absolut Vodka.

Their first retrospective exhibition was in 1996, at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

Work
People photographed by Pierre et Gilles include: musicians Amanda Lear (the cover of her 1980 album Diamonds for Breakfast, one of their first assignments), Lio, Khaled, Étienne Daho, Marie France, Mikado, Marc Almond, Leslie Winer, Marilyn Manson, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Erasure, Deee-Lite, The Creatures, Nina Hagen and CocoRosie (the cover of their 2007 album The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn); model Naomi Campbell, actresses Tilda Swinton and Catherine Deneuve, actors Jérémie Renier and Layke Anderson and also designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Paloma Picasso.

They directed Marc Almond's 1990 music video for the song A Lover Spurned and Lamour's video clip for "Tu es foutu".

Archival Sources
    •    Pierre, et Gilles : [photography bio file] (1 folder) is housed at the Museum of Modern Art. Includes announcements, clippings, press releases, brochures, reviews, invitations, small exhibition catalogs, and other ephemeral material filed through 2000; after 2000 all material is filed in the Library's artist files.

Source:
"Pierre et Gilles", Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_et_Gilles, (Accessed 2/8/2013)


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Pierre et Gilles, Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard, are French artists and romantic partners.  They produce highly stylized photographs, building their own sets and costumes as well as retouching the photographs.  Their work often features images from popular culture, gay culture including pornography (especially James Bidgood), and religion.

Pierre Commoy, the photographer, was born in 1950 in La Roche-sur-Yon.  Gilles Blanchard, the painter, was born in 1953 in Le Havre.  In the early 1970s, Gilles took a degree at the École des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre, while Pierre studied photography in Geneva.

In 1974, Gilles moved to Paris to paint and make illustrations for magazines and advertisements.  Pierre started working as a photographer for the magazines Rock & Folk, Dépèche Mode and Interview.

In autumn 1976, Pierre and Gilles met at the inauguration of a Kenzo boutique in Paris, and started living together in an apartment in Rue des Blancs-Manteaux that they also use as a studio.  Next year they started working together; Gilles would do the painting and Pierre took the photos.  Their public breakthrough came with their images for the magazine Façade, with portraits of Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger and Iggy Pop.

In 1979 they moved to the Bastille quarter, made their first works for Thierry Mugler, designed record sleeves for artist friends, and shot fashion ads and portraits for magazines.  They also made their first trip to India, a country which has inspired much of their work.

In 1983 Pierre et Gilles had their first personal show at Galerie Texbraun in Paris.

In 1984 they worked extensively for musical artists like Mikado (for whom they directed their first video), Sandii, Etienne Daho, Sheila and Krootchey.

In 1987 they again traveled to India, and started working on religious and mythological themes.

In 1989 they became friends with Marc Almond, with whom they would work with for many years.

In 1993 Pierre et Gilles were awarded the Grand Prix de Photographie by the City of Paris; and produced art work for Absolut Vodka.

Their first retrospective exhibition was in 1996, at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

People photographed by Pierre et Gilles include: musicians Amanda Lear (the cover of her 1980 album Diamonds for Breakfast, one of their first assignments), Lio, Khaled, Étienne Daho, Marie France, Mikado, Marc Almond, Marilyn Manson, Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Erasure, Deee-Lite, The Creatures, Nina Hagen and CocoRosie (the cover of their 2007 album The Adventures of Ghosthorse and Stillborn); model Naomi Campbell, actresses Tilda Swinton and Catherine Deneuve, actors Jérémie Renier and Layke Anderson and also designers Jean-Paul Gaultier and Paloma Picasso.

They directed Marc Almond's 1990 music video for the song "A Lover Spurned" and Lamour's video clip for "Tu es foutu".

Sources:
Ardenne, Paul; Pierre et Gilles (p.12-61); Taschen GbmH, Cologne 2007
wikipedia.org

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