Rooted in the daily life of the painter Ohne Titel (Lieber Maler, male mir…) is a work that demonstrates this consistent aspect of Kippenberger’s work more clearly than most. Shot from the back, the photograph on which the painting is based depicts two evidently close and almost tragi-comic figures heading on a bar crawl through the streets of Düsseldorf. The ordinariness of the scene and the fact that it is daylight with the streets still full of people underscores both the mundaneness and the gritty realism of the image. It is both an intimate and tender image of ordinariness, made epic and extraordinary by its magnification and translation into a slick photorealist oil painting.

Lieber Maler, male mir…(Dear Painter, paint for me…) is one of the earliest and most important series of Kippenberger’s works. It is a series of twelve paintings that Kippenberger commissioned to be made for him by the film poster painter known as ‘Mr Werner’. The delegation of the making of this series of paintings to another is not only a clear dig at the earnestness and supposed ‘authenticity’ of the very ‘painterly’ Neo-Expressionist art, then currently in vogue in Germany, but also a firm statement about Kippenberger’s sense of identity as an ‘art/business/life artist’. As such the Lieber Maler, male mir… series forms one of the few lynchpins through which much of the later diversity and eclecticism of Kippenberger’s oeuvre can begin to be understood.

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