Self-portraits features several striking images of Pierre et Gilles, the French duo that has been creating painterly, kitsch and dreamlike portraiture for fashion and advertising since the 1970s.
The images were all shot between 1987 and 1993, captured in Pierre et Gilles’ signature style; the colours more vivid than real, the settings and sitters ornately framed by flora, glitz and celestial shapes. The pair are shown variously as sparkling sailors, cosmonauts surrounded by a sea of foliage and flowers, a glamorous couple in wedding attire, saints and 1980s heartthrobs posing with pistols. Throughout, as in much of Pierre et Gilles’ photography, eroticism, tenderness and provocation merge to both entertain and challenge the viewer.
Drawing on their signature mix of baroque extravagance and contemporary irony, Pierre et Gilles have used self-portraiture as a central tenet in their photography since they began working together almost four decades ago. And this, Ginza’s first Pierre et Gilles collection, works to foreground the collaborative nature of their partnership, with the surface effects of Gilles’ masterful painting enhancing Pierre’s precision photography. The sets and costumes they create together are fastidiously manufactured to evoke that familiar yet otherworldly aesthetic.