Image: Attacked
(1943 and 1942 - )

Attacked , 1991

Hand-dyed photographs in metal frames
99 3/4 in. x 195 7/8 in. (253.37 cm x 497.52 cm)
Museum Acquisition Fund and Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media
1994.22 a-u
Considered among the most important British artists working today, Gilbert & George began collaborating on performances and artworks in 1969.  They have been key figures in the development of postmodern photography because, from the start, they regarded the photograph as something purposefully constructed rather than as an image that captures existing reality.

Since 1974, the duo has been producing large photomontages divided by a grid of black frames resembling the leading on a stained-glass window.  These present a carefully manipulated, artificial world characterized by large scale and dramatic images related to advertising and the popular media.  "We want our Art to speak across the barriers of knowledge directly to People about their Life and not about their knowledge of art," say the artists.

The artists often depict their own images surrounded (or in the case of this work, assailed) by symbols of urban life or of nature.  In 'Attacked', Gilbert & George stick out their tongues to be rude and defiant, but the gesture also suggests a visit to the doctor’s office, childishness and sexual aggression.  The tongue-in-cheek humor in much of their work masks a concern with greater truths of the human condition. Attacked dramatizes multiple threats—psychological assault, urban danger and viral contagion.  In the minds of Gilbert & George, “everybody is hiding something” and “some aspect of their life is under attack.”
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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