Le Pestiféré


Painted photograph

122.5 x 92 cm (48 1/4 x 36 1/4 in.)

Pierre et Gilles's painted photograph Le Pestiféré (“the plague-stricken”) is based on classical imagery. The artist duo took inspiration in emblematic figures from 19th century painting. In particular, this artwork references and pays homage to Eugène Delacroix's aesthetics. The figure of the martyr, sick and poor, sitting against a backdrop of ruins, is part of the thematic repertoire of romantic painting. The treatment of the image, which echoes orientalist painting, ads yet another reference.

The hyperrealistic effect of this Pestiféré brought about by photography combined with the pale hues of the sky creates a contrast that is somewhat kitsch. It is one of the main characteristics of the French art duo's work.

Le Pestiféré was first shown by the Pinault Collection in the exhibition The Passage of Time at the Tri Postal in Lille, in 2007-2008.