Gilbert and George look to their legacy
For over 50 years, Gilbert and George have been part of the local scenery around Brick Lane. Since purchasing their original Huguenot house in Fournier Street as a barely liveable wreck in 1973 for £22,000, they have carefully restored it and expanded into adjacent properties, which also contain their studio. And for many years they had their suits made locally, always had breakfast at the same Spitalfields café, and still make their way a few miles up the road to the same Dalston restaurant every evening to eat.
They rarely leave the area, seeing it as almost the world in miniature. And so, as they get older, it should come as no surprise that they’re looking to maintain their presence in the area after their passing. To that end, their foundation has recently bought a property next to The Pride of Spitalfields pub, in Heneage Street just off Brick Lane. The property is an old 18th Century brewery, set in gardens, and is being converted by Gilbert’s nephew, who happens to be an architect, into a 3,000 square foot space to house their artworks in perpetuity. Gilbert and George say they have done this partly because, even after 50 years, they still don’t feel major galleries like the Tate are comfortable showing their work.
So, Gilbert and George look set to live on in Spitalfields into perpetuity. And, if you don’t want to wait until the new space is finished to see some of their work, their current show Gilbert & George: The Beard Pictures And Their Fuckosophy is on at White Cube Bermondsey until 28 January 2018.