Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Oftentimes the most unique and celebrated artists carve their own stylistic path that cuts against the grain of popular trends; this was certainly true of Georg Baselitz, who from the outset of his career brazenly bucked the painting conventions and traditions of his native Germany, blasting them as "ugly." He came to specialize in grotesque, twisted figures with distorted faces and bodies, and frequent sexual elements, and at other times provoked controversy by hanging his paintings upside down. As one can imagine, this generated a hefty amount of controversy, as when Baselitz completed his painting Die große Nacht im Eimer (The Big Night Down the Drain), only to have it branded obscene and confiscated. The eponymous documentary Georg Baselitz consists of two halves, made 17 years apart. In the first, writer-director Heinz Peter Schwerfel visits Baselitz in 1987, coincident with the then-50-year-old artist's retrospective at the Bundekunsthalle in Bonn. Baselitz expostulates on his career, experiences as a young man, struggle to establish himself and final encounter with fame and glory.
artist, obscenity, painter, career, controversy, distortion, Germany