Snapped Up by Germany's New Elite, Painter's Work Evokes Disturbing Memories of Nazi Era
Paterson, Tony, The Independent (London, England)
NORBERT BISKY'S paintings show Teutonic youths stripped to the waist and columns of marching blonde maidens. Yet the 33-year-old Berlin artist is a runaway success in Germany, despite provoking charges that his work is reminiscent of Nazi-era art.
Bisky's pictures are usually wall-sized and fetch up to EUR35,000 (pounds 24,000) apiece. They have been snapped up by the German jet set and leading politicians, such as Guido Westerwelle, head of the liberal Free Democratic Party. The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung describes him as among Germany's most promising painters, and last month two of his huge paintings were put on show at a major Berlin exhibition of German and Russian art.
Yet Bisky, an East German and son of the leader of Germany's reformed communists, the Party for Democratic Socialism, has provoked searching questions. "What, exactly, is the difference between these paintings and the pseudo-idyllic, body culture works that Adolf Hitler liked?" asked Der Spiegel magazine. It is not difficult to understand why Bisky's work has caused controversy: nearly all of his paintings depict shock-headed blond youths clad only in shorts, flexing their muscles or throwing spears in bright sunshine. Women are marching in columns or dancing in …
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Publication information: Article title: Snapped Up by Germany's New Elite, Painter's Work Evokes Disturbing Memories of Nazi Era. Contributors: Paterson, Tony - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: November 13, 2003. Page number: 16. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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