Dec 19th, 2019, 10:35 AM

Pierre Et Gilles: A Féerique Exhibition

By Ariane Petit
Les cosmonautes, Pierre et Gilles, 1991
The Clash Between Painting, Photography and Music

Do you want to know what happens when photography meets painting? Pierre et Gilles. That's what happens. Known for their creative pieces, the dynamic duo first met at a party but are now taking the art world by storm. Continuing with their success, their most recent exhibition launch can be found at “la Cité de la musique” in Paris. 

Les cosmonautes, Pierre et Gilles, 1991


As I arrived in the room a woman handed me an audio guide. Since this is normally not included in the price of a basic ticket, I was pleasantly surprised. Plugging in the device, I started with the exhibition. I quickly moved over to the first piece that had caught my eye and typed the coded number into the device. I wanted to know the backstory. But instead, I had the surprise to listen to a Dolly Parton song. I then moved to another painting and typed in its number. Again, I  heard another song, but this time from an artist I did not recognize. I continued the exhibition path until I finally got to the end and read the explanation for this: jukebox.

As artist, Pierre et Gilles imagined their exhibition as a jukebox that plays music related to their art. Accordingly, their art is not just paintings and photographs, but a journey of 110 conjoined art pieces accompanied by 140 songs. Divided into a mix gallery, the works includes pieces that explore themes such as Idol factory, icons, mythology and, finally, dreams and nightmare. Since piece goes with a song, the exhibit is both a visual and auditory experience. 

The artist account their inspiration to a variety of things, but emphasis that their work was most heavily influenced by their life,  their catholic upbringings and travels to India . However, their muses often as well include celebrities. The majority of these celebrities are French,  but the pair has as well worked with celebrities from all around the world from the likes of Iggy Pop, Marc Jacobs, Boy George, Tilda Swinton, Sayoko Yamaguchi and Rossy de Palma. 

Jean-Paul Gaultier and Francis Menuge, Une Histoire D'Amour, Pierre et Gilles. Image Credit: Ariane Petit

What I liked about this exhibition is the precision of the consistent work they achieved. From the atmosphere to the the music, the exhibition seemed more like a show. Even the frames that held the pieces are all unique and accredited as arts themselves.

Frame, Pierre et Gilles. Image Credit: Ariane Petit


Want to go see the exhibition yourself? You have until February 23rd, 2020. Don’t forget to bring your student ID with you, since you will be able to have a student discount. The exhibition is located at 221 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris, opened Tuesday to Friday from 12 to 6 pm and Saturday and Sunday, from 10 am to 6 pm.