Jeder ist seines Glückes Schmied (Every Man is the Architect of his own Fortune)


Oil and acrylic on canvas, 21 parts

75 × 65 × 2 cm (29 1/2 × 25 9/16 × 13/16 in.) (each) Overall dimensions: 250 x 500 cm (98 7/16 x 196 7/8 in.)

Jeder ist seines Glückes Schmied ("Everyone Is the Architect of His Own Fortune") is a series of 21 same-size portraits on canvas in various styles of more or less decadent characters. This surprising group challenges both the viewer and art history.

Like all of Martin Kippenberger’s works, this portrait gallery derisively, critically explores the conventions of art, especially painting. The 21 paintings are pastiches of styles and subjects rooted in the history of painting. The artist combines scholarly quotations, pop culture references and anecdotal, humorous and autobiographical motifs in a grid whose narrative logic is not fixed.

One of the artist's most ambitious projects, this work is in the Pinault Collection. It was shown in the large group show "Mapping the Studio" (2009-2011) at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice.