For our magazine, Creative Boom, we recently interviewed Gilbert & George about their current exhibition at London's White Cube gallery, celebrating 50 years of their work. It's a show of two halves with The Beard Pictures taking over much of the space. "The beard is always religious in some way. To cut or not to cut, it's all religious in some crazy form," Gilbert told us.
"The hipsters are moving in and taking it on. All the signs on Brick Lane say ‘beard trim £3’, ‘beard trim £6’. Our Muslim friends living in Brick Lane used to be ashamed of having beards because they were enforced, and now because of the hipsters they feel more disguised – people can’t tell the difference," adds George.
The exhibition, which runs until 28 January, features more than 40 beard pictures, including a monumental quadripartite which comprises 4 x 7m wide images emblazoned with the words ‘Sex’, ‘Money’, ‘Race’ and ‘Religion’.
With 50 years of work under their belt, and a combined age of 149, what will the next 50 years bring? “When we’re asked, ‘What happens if one of you dies?’ We say ‘fall under a taxi or a bus you mean? Fear not, we always cross the road together’.”