The book Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein and the like-named photo series by de Amsterdam artist Jesse Faber is a reaction to a dialogue between two of the most significant contemporary artists in art history. Artist Joseph Beuys once said: ‘Jeder Mensch ist ein Künstler’, to which Martin Kippenberger replied ‘Jeder Künstler ist ein Mensch’.
Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein includes a selection of Faber’s masked photo portraits, taken with a 6×6 Hasselblad camera in the 1990’s. In a humorous, yet serious way, Faber plays with the theme of identity in our daily lives. Can we really be who we are? Or do we wear a mask to hide our true identity, only showing a different face to the outside world?
The book is released to mark the 20-year anniversary of Faber as an artist and alongside his portrait photos from the 90’s also includes a series of new, masked photo portraits made recently by the artist. Especially for this occasion, author Arnon Grunberg has written an essay for Die Kunst ein Mensch zu sein.