Beards inspire new show on view in six cities by British art duo Gilbert & George

While British art duo Gilbert & George are clean-shaven in real life, their latest series of surreal self-portraits sees them don beards made of wire mesh, foliage, flowers and even rabbits. The set of 172 pictures are divided across six shows, in Paris, New York, London, Brussels, Naples and Athens from now till next March. A darker leitmotif of “The Beard Pictures” is barbed wire, which crosses behind or in front of the two men’s faces, evoking the pervasive pictures of war and refugees rather than the hipster fashion for facial hair. “Every time you switch on the television you started to see barbed wire all over the world,” said Gilbert, 74, in an interview with AFP in Paris. “And you started to see holes… in the barbed wire, and you started to see human beings with beards sticking out of it.” George, 75, chimed in: “When we were teenagers, it would be impossible to get a job in England if you had a beard. And barbed wire when we were the same age was all to do with farming. Now