Oil on canvas, 140 x 190 cm
Rainer Fetting's work includes numerous self-portraits in various variations as well as multi-faceted depictions of his circle of friends. These often unusual forms of representation reflect Fetting's state of mind and his striving for artistic freedom. At the time, Fetting challenged both the art market and society: his new, "wild" form of painting, his subjects, and also his openly practiced homosexuality were not without controversy. As much as success spoiled him on the one hand, restlessness and resistance to circumstances and at times feelings of alienation characterized his life on the other. He was connected in this way to historical master painters torn by doubt, with whom he identified. Vincent van Gogh, in particular, a brilliant, at the time misunderstood artist, driven by his restless nature, appears in a number of his works, but also Paul Gaugin and, as here, Rembrandt. Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, such was his full name, was one of the most important painters of the Baroque period and already a celebrated artist during his lifetime. However, he always suffered from financial problems and died in poverty. Fetting's identification with Rembrandt went so far that he portrayed himself as Rembrandt - on Leninplatz in his adopted hometown of Berlin. The personalities of Fetting and Rembrandt merge even more strongly insofar as that Fetting makes Rembrandt appear not only as another person in another time, but also in a different place. Leninplatz actually existed in East Berlin; in 1950, the then German Democratic Republic renamed Landsberger Platz as Leninplatz. Since 1992, it is called Platz der Vereinten Nationen (United Nations Square).
Rainer Fetting (*1949 in Wilhelmshaven, Germany) is one of the best-known representatives of the Neue Wilde. He studied in Berlin from 1972 to 1978 and showed his first exhibitions at the Galerie am Moritzplatz. A scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) took him to New York in 1978, where he lived temporarily between 1983 and 1994. The stay in both metropolises - Berlin and New York - had a profound influence on him and his art, so that numerous works by Fetting take up the life in these cities. In particular, he focuses on the Berlin Wall and the peripheral zones of New York. Fetting became an equally well-known, sought-after and restless artist: Almost every year, he showed large solo exhibitions in renowned galleries and museums in Europe and the USA and participated in countless group exhibitions.
Fetting's work is expressive and colorful. In addition to big-city life, he prefers to paint the male nude and, in contrast, depictions of nature and landscapes. In addition, there are portraits and figures, watercolors, works on paper and photographs. Since 1986, he has been equally successful in creating bronze sculptures. The monumental Willy Brandt statue in the Willy Brandt House in Berlin is one of his most famous sculptures - it measures an impressive 3.40 meters and weighs more than 500 kg. Today, Fetting lives and works in Berlin and on Sylt island.