Gilbert and George's Boot (1989) is interpreted in the accompanying exhibition catalogue by Wojciech Markowski: 'In this . . . a picture of a leg presented as part of a human body rather than a shoe, we feel the expression of a deep belief in the orderliness of this world, and even in its subordination to the structure of the human body. Here we have the axis which like a column supports the world and divides it into parts-and which meets another axis, the horizontal axis of the earth . . . it clearly symbolises the domination of activity over passivity.' Or more simply, in the words of George: 'It is very much a love letter. A love letter from us to the viewer'.
Gilbert and George's Boot is at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool to 14 Mar. Van Gogh's Old Boots can be seen at the Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam.
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