It’s time to reveal a well-kept secret: these artists were one of the reasons why I fell so in love with Paris. A long time ago, when I was studying in Paris as an exchange student, I kept running into them: we loved the same clubs and the same peculiar characters and had the same passion for 3D-effect postcards of Jesus, sculptures of the Virgin Mary with a flashing heart ‘beating’ in her chest and illuminated fountains with water flowing from the eyes of saints like never-ending tears. I had a pretty impressive collection but the loft apartment of Pierre & Gilles was something else, like the Versailles of kitsch paraphernalia. I was quite simply smitten with these two men and their art. Back then, they were both an underground phenomenon on the Parisian gay scene and had not yet become the famous artists of the present day, on display in major museums all over the world, from New York to Tokyo. The first article that I wrote as an art critic focused on their work and I was present when they immortalised the singer Nina Hagen, her boyfriend and their baby as a holy family in their basement studio in the Parisian suburb of Le Pré-Saint-Gervais.