Scroll To Top
Out100 2013

Out100: Pierre et Gilles

Out100: Pierre et Gilles



Photography by Danielle Levitt

Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard met in 1976 at the opening of a Kenzo boutique in Paris, and just months later began what would become a nearly four-decade-long artistic and romantic partnership. To this day, their inimitable high-gloss, hyberbolic painted celebrity portraits -- of everyone from Marc Jacobs and Madonna to Jean Paul Gaultier and Tilda Swinton -- are all done completely by hand (as not to distort the integrity and character of the subject's face).

The pair conceive of the images together; Pierre (right) snaps the black-and-white and color shots that serve as the base images, and Gilles (left) embellishes them with pastel-colored dots to give them their dazzling, dreamlike, charmingly kitsch effect. It's a painstaking process that usually takes three weeks and entails constructing elaborate sets (forests, ice palaces, and fields of grass, with jewels and crosses and assorted other opulent accoutrements) -- all in the silver- star-and-pink-tulle-covered studio that doubles as their home.

Seven of their pieces are currently on display in the exhibit "Masculine/Masculine: The Nude Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day" at the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, and this past winter they debuted Vive Les Maries, a self-portrait of the couple in tuxedos, holding hands under an arch of roses, that served not only as tribute to the passing of marriage equality in France but also as a celebration of their own lifelong journey. The work actually marked the second time they'd depicted themselves in a wedding scenario -- the first, in 1993, featured Gilles in a bridal gown.

Photographed at their home in Paris on September 28, 2013

SLIDESHOW: See the Complete Out100 List

AdvocateChannel promoOut Magazine - Ricky Martin

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Be sure to follow Out on your favorite social platforms!


Want more news, top stories, and videos? Check out the all NEW Advocate Channel!
Your 24/7 streaming source for equality news and lifestyle trends.
Click this link right now:

Latest Stories