High Line Boys: Gilbert & George Queer the Park
The High Line will get a little bit gayer this fall when the billboard adjacent to the elevated park—that has hosted other queer artists such as photographer Ryan McGinley—exhibits a version of Gilbert & George’s 1984 photographic, stained glass-simulating mural “Waking” (which is in the permanent collection fo the Guggenheim Bilbao) that shows various sizes of the gay art duo surrounded by men and boys in flamboyant makeup and clothing.
Gilbert & George's signature style coalesced in large, brightly colored photo montages, often backlit to resemble stained glass and incorporating button-pushing symbols (swastikas, crucifixes, roses, flags) and provocative text ('cock,' 'scum,' 'fucked up'). As self-described 'living sculptures,' they insist they live their whole lives as art; they're prone to rude jokes, are rarely seen dressed in anything but matching suits or apart from one another, and keep slavishly to a peculiar daily schedule.
Although the original artwork seemed massive, at approximately 36-feet wide, the billboard is 75-feet in length, so does that mean we'll get more boys to marvel at while strolling by?
“With all the talk today about urban life and gay marriage,” High Line Art curator Cecilia Alemani told the New York Times, “it seems even more appropriate now.”
The High Line Billboard will exhibit the bold work from September 3 through October 1, but we already wish it would be a permanent feature.