The fourth week of Supreme’s spring/summer 2019 season has not one, but two collaborations. The first stars sportswear giant Nike, the second features the artistic duo Gilbert & George.

Artists Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore met in 1967 while studying sculpture at the St. Martin’s School of Art. The pair has often said “It was love at first sight.” The next year, the two moved to a house in the East London neighborhood of Spitalfields—where they still reside. Gilbert & George do not consider themselves two separate artists who collaborate, but one singular artist; it’s a similar concept to two musicians presenting themselves as a band. Although they started as sculptors, they also work in the mediums of film, photography, painting and drawing.

Gilbert & George believe that no subject is too controversial to be addressed in their art and have always touched on social issues, taboos and artistic conventions. In their eyes, an artist’s sacrifice and personal investment is a necessary ingredient to every piece. They have gone as far as depicting themselves as naked figures in their pictures in an attempt to recast the nude male body as something vulnerable as opposed to the figure of strength it’s typically seen as.

The East End of London serves as the backdrop and inspiration for much of the pair’s art. By 1975, the duo were able to purchase their Spitalfield home cementing the duo as witnesses to the gentrification which ultimately took over the neighborhood. The changes to the neighborhood are reflected in their work as an ongoing portrait of the city. Despite controversies over their lack of participation in the queer rights movement (along with their increasingly offensive work), the two are presently revered as national treasures and particularly influential to artistic duos, non-gender binary couples working together and all artists who set out to offend. The only quote under the introduction section of their website reads “We want our art to bring out the bigot from inside the liberal and conversely to bring out the liberal from inside the bigot.”

Supreme has worked on a collection featuring three images from Gilbert & George’s 27-piece series, 1984 Pictures. The art is an assemblage of photos enhanced with bold color to create montages that confront the controversial issues Gilbert & George are known for tackling: religion, sex, race, corruption, illness and death. The collection consists of two hoodies, three T-shirts and three skateboards.

The Supreme x Gilbert & George collection drops this Thursday, March 21, at Supreme’s US, European and online stores. It will release on March 23 in Japan. Be sure to check Grailed shortly after 11 am as items make their way to the Hype marketplace.

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