• Photographs: The Evening Sale auction at Christies

    Sale 12203

    Photographs: The Evening Sale

    4 October 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 21

    Gilbert & George (B. 1943 & B. 1942)

    Xerxes from Jack Freak Pictures, 2008


    Gilbert & George (B. 1943 & B. 1942)
    Xerxes from Jack Freak Pictures, 2008
    mixed media, in twenty-four parts
    signed and dated (lower left); titled (lower right)
    each: 25 x 29 3/4 in. (63.5 x 75.6 cm.)
    overall: 100 x 178 1/4 in. (254 x 453 cm)

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    Gilbert & George's overwhelmingly monumental series Jack Freak Pictures comprises the largest, most ambitious group of works the artists ever created, all of which were taken in 2008 – only one year after the duo's retrospective at the Tate Modern in London. The retrospective, which contained 200 works, motivated Gilbert & George to immediately design 153 new images which have been deemed by the artists themselves as their 'greatest group of pictures'.

    The first image in the series was inspired by two antique commemoration medals; the resulting composition reminded the artists of the Union Jack. Once the artists realized the potential within the association of national medals and the Union Jack, the flag became a dominant common thread throughout nearly all works in the series. The depiction of medals persisted as well, as seen in yellow in the present lot. When asked about the use of the word 'freak' in the series title, Gilbert responded, 'well, yesterday we took a bus – and every human being we saw had an element of freakishness. Now we always see freaks, and nothing else.'

    The Jack Freak Pictures are celebratory and disturbing, monstrous yet beautiful. Xerxes serves as a stunning representative of Gilbert & George's most impressive artistic accomplishment to date.

    Special Notice

    Please note lots marked with a square will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) on the last day of the sale. Lots are not available for collection at Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services until after the third business day following the sale. All lots will be stored free of charge for 30 days from the auction date at Christie’s Rockefeller Center or Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Operation hours for collection from either location are from 9.30 am to 5.00 pm, Monday-Friday. After 30 days from the auction date property may be moved at Christie’s discretion. Please contact Post-Sale Services to confirm the location of your property prior to collection. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn). Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information.


    White Cube, London;
    acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Gilbert & George, Gilbert & George: Jack Freak Pictures, Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2009, no. 73.


    London, White Cube, Jack Freak Pictures, 10 July - 22 August 2009.