state of the art

state of the art – a couple of self portraits

For many years I painted a self-portrait every year. I called the series “State of the Art”. Unfortunately, I stopped because I didn’t want to be perceived as a narcissist. On the other hand, what artist is not a narcissist? 🙂

The example for this year certainly reflects a lot of what the Covid-19 crisis brought us. And the effects are very diverse – and by no means over.

state of the art 2021. 这不是我自己 (this is not me myself)

Much later I remember this well-known painting by Rene Magritte: “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” and so I thought of tearing the picture up. But well, in a way this is my “state of the art” anyway. So it stays.

Ceci n’est pas une pipe by Rene Magritte

Last year my “state of the art looked like this, subtitled: hommage à Zhang Huan 張洹

Probably from 1987 or 1988.

state of the art 1988 (?)

From a period when I became fairly familiar with the Chinese ink wash technique.

early self portrait
state of the art 1985

When I looked for older self-portraits I realize that some are lost – or like in this case – damaged. Looks like I should take better care of my paintings but I tend to treat them like garbage 🙁 I don’t think there is any point in trying to remove the mold stains. So I better give it the title: “state of the art 2050”.

state of the art 1982

This work is from my early stage but it means a lot to me. I took one of my best friends into the picture, he is standing at the door and he soon died tragically afterward.

state of the art 1979

As said I did many self-portraits. The first work in a cycle is always interesting. What can I say? I was just very young ……

state of the art 1977. Bill C. would have said,” Yes, but I did not inhale”.

More of this kind can be seen in: portfolio | protective masks in Beijing | portrait of a Chinese man



15 responses to “state of the art – a couple of self portraits”

  1. swabby429 avatar

    These self-portraits reveal your inner and outer nature. I’d say they are a step above what most of us have–selfies or posed photographic self-portraits.

    1. avatar

      Doing portraits is rather easy when we go for the outer appearance. To express the inner life of a model is more difficult.

  2. Wendy avatar

    This is an interesting idea. I enjoyed looking at them all

    1. avatar

      Thank you very much! I just discovered your blog and I am most impressed by your work!

  3. vermavkv avatar

    very nice .. very impressive..

    1. avatar

      Thank you so much!

  4. anotherkatewilson avatar

    These are fascinating. The array of styles is really amazing.

    1. avatar

      Thank you so much for you kind comment! I am very happy to hear you like it!

  5. bertri13340 avatar

    Je découvre ce blog, parfaitement réussi et intéressant. J’imagine la rigueur du travail produit. Bravo et bonne fin de semaine à vous !

    1. avatar

      Thank you so much for your interest and kind words! They mean a lot to me. All the best!

  6. Stacie avatar

    This is so powerful I especially feel attracted to the first image I really felt that! I feel moved by this post. Just had to say.

    1. Zettl avatar

      Thank you so much for your kind words, they mean a lot to me.

  7. Bon Repos Gites avatar

    All are striking images!

    1. Zettl avatar

      Thank you so much! Well, as those are self portraits I guess I must be a striking person 🙂

      1. Bon Repos Gites avatar

        Haha, well, that is the obvious inference! 😉 You paint very well indeed!

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