Pierre et Gilles
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Pierre et Gilles, Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard, are French artists and romantic partners. They produce highly stylized unique hand-painted photographs, building their own sets and costumes as well as retouching the photographs with acrylic paint. Their work often features images from art history, popular culture, religion and gay culture including pornography (especially James Bidgood).
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 1987 they again travelled to India, and started working on religious and mythological themes.
In 2000 Pierre et Gilles had a major retrospective at the New Museum in New York.
In 2007 They had a major retrospective at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume 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, 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.
- Ardenne, Paul; Pierre et Gilles (p.12-61); Taschen GbmH, Cologne 2007. ISBN 978-3-8228-4650-6
- 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.
- Salon.com: Pierre et Gilles by Glen Helfand
- glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture: Pierre et Gilles
- art-forum.org: Pierre Et Gilles gallery
- Article from Zap! Bang! Magazine
-  Little museum of Pierre & Gilles