La petite fille des HLM


Painted photograph, artists' frame

107 x 81 cm (42 1/8 x 31 7/8 in.)

La petite fille des HLM (The Little Council Estate Girl) is unique in the oeuvre of Pierre & Gilles. It focuses on a side of contemporary society far from the world of fame and glitter: council estates and those who live there.

The title refers to Andersen's famous tale The Little Match Girl. The child stands out like an icon against a backdrop of flat, unreal buildings. Her tough, no-nonsense gaze catches the viewer's eye and contrasts with her teddy bear, a symbol of childhood. This is the artist couple’s view of youth in working-class neighbourhoods in the 1990s.

This work was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection in 2008 at the Tri Postal in Lille during the exhibition “Passage du temps” (‘Passage of Time”).