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Jonathan Meese

Napoleon's Liebestum

mixed media and oil on canvas
2006
129,9 x 110,2 x 4 cm / 51 1/8 x 43 3/8 x 1 1/2 in.
signed with monogram and dated upper left verso signed, dated and titled

Jonathan Meese is a political artist. The politics he pursues in his work is simple: He wants to establish a dictatorship of art. He uses figures, religion, and German history to thematise German mythology and “German dilusion”. Like Anselm Kiefer, Meese frequently points out the German enthusiasm for Hitler and his ideology. „The ‘Dictatorship of Art’ is about the most loving rule of a thing like love, humbleness, and respect, brought together and culminating in the rule of art. The omnipotence of art is not about the show of power of an artist person or the power fantasies of self-realizers or reality fanatics, but about the anti-nostalgic, unparalleled power of art, i.e. the cause. Art poses the power question, not the artist.” Meese hides his personality behind a public figure; everything he does and says in public is a performance. The main subject of his art is Jonathan Meese. He came to art late, at the age of 22 he began to draw and attended courses. He entered the Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg at the age of 35 and left it after three years without a degree. After being invited to the Berlin Biennale in 1998, where he presented an installation, he was included in many exhibitions, nationally and internationally. Meese’s first comprehensive retrospective was presented in Hamburg in 2006. Works by Meese were acquired by the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt, the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, and the Collection of Contemporary Art of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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