"...He is Baselitz, a name tuberose, not only acoustically, with dirty connotations. He is Germany’s foremost Modern artist. He is one of those who accepted the thirty pieces of silver and turned them into a heap of gold. He is a well-received guest at the London Royal Academy of Arts, which strikes you as odd since the Brits and the Krauts, never mind what they tell you in Brussels, regard each other warily. He is loved by the country’s foremost gazettes, like the FAZ, or the SZ, or the old pansy ZEIT. He can be found in Tate modern. He owns a Giant Schnauzer with a degree in psychology who handles his castration complex, the foremost source of his creative inspiration. He produces his masterpieces watching Big Brother on TV while reclining on a sofa next to a canvas previously splattered with an undisclosed amount of colours on which he diverts an occasional glance and then arranges artistically by means of an Italian bread roll using his left hand only. Once dry, he signs it with his illustrious name, waits until that one is dry as well, and hangs it up upside-down.
This, the upside-down, has made him famous.
Ever repentant Germany, foremost bastion of politically correct forces, where, rather en passant and widely unnoticed, book burnings and show trials have been reintroduced and hefty jail sentences are handed down to those who dare to insist on their constitutional rights and challenge the official credo, is an El Dorado for those in Modern art with the necessary connections. It is less so for the ordinary citizen, because here the crunch has shown its ugly claw as well, particularly since seventy percent of the country’s produce is earmarked for export and thus a recipe for disaster once the cash flow begins to stagger. The lawmakers and law enforcers feel uneasy as well, wondering in moments of quiet reflection if the hate laws they have so carelessly set afloat or applied might come back and bite them in the backside, once the hour of reckoning arrives. Like in Nuremberg not long ago. Or in London right now, where the country’s supreme PC warriors, though not their minders, are accused of invading Iraq without the faintest shred of legal support and causing the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent bystanders, while the folks at the International Court of Justice in Den Haag are popping their garters for fear of being saddled with a trove of their own kind.
As for the Baselitz’ meteoric ascent on the murky skies of Modern art, the usual machinations were set in motion. Among thousands of candidates, both academics or naturals, all waiting eagerly for a hint from the established Modern art Mafia, now and then one is chosen. Since he is, just like his many contenders, about as gifted as a bedbug, nobody with a sane mind would assume that considerations of artistic merit ever played a part. What counts is a rigorous talent for self-representation, unfettered by the smallest grain of aesthetics or ethics, an inborn and unlimited vulgarity, and the stated objective to be the most ruthless Judas Iscariot to the Fine Arts that ever set foot on our sacred earth. As to the operational level, it works more or less in the following way. One of the great Modern art dealers, a highly visible member of the afore mentioned Mafia, contacts a few of his highly invisible godfathers, strikes a deal, and the Baselitz (or anyone like him) is launched. Surprised by the sudden onslaught, goes the latter into high gear and produces twenty masterpieces a day, all of which fetch prices that increase breathtakingly fast. The press is informed, the usual dolls and pansies from the art section do their job and tell the astonished aficionado in exalted crap-art parlance what it is all about, and a new star is born. Next he has the so far unheard-of idea to present his work hanging upside-down, a clear sign of sublime genius if there ever was one, and prices go through the roof. Retrospections in the artist’s honour are arranged, Modern art sanctuaries like the Moma or Tate modern buy his crap, even the occasional sausage-and-ham manufacturer is impressed and lays out a sack of ill-gotten money for a slice of Baselitz."
Here, some anti-poison for Die grosse Nacht im Eimer: