Impersonating Otto Dix

The Internet does bear strange fruit. While trying to find some of my favorite works by Otto Dix for you, I came across a fake Otto Dix diary. Presented as a work of fiction by the author, it begins with a disclaimer which is immediately followed by a note from a fictional translator, intended to immerse the reader. I was curious but as I read uncertainty set in.

“So far its not happening. I try this, that and the other. I whack out a few things that are not bad. I am not looking for not bad. Later I will sketch from the sketches. This sometimes produces results. Sooner or later it always happens. You need patience to be an artist.”

Is this a well-meaning but unsuccessful attempt to understand the creative process and to properly pay Dix tribute? It seems that way. On the off chance Dix actually uttered those words in an interview or something along those lines, no one would actually write that. Can you imagine stopping mid-drawing, and writing “The charcoal is flying. I love this paper!”

Scared, I’m imagining someone seeing the large amount of nudity in my own work and based on that writing things like “I paint a nipple. Small details go into this nipple. There are shadows. and highlights. I like oil paint. I chew my brush. While chewing my brush I wish I were chewing a nipple. Mm nipples.”

Ah, I digress. The fact remains; the real Dix wrote things like “Ultimately all wars are fought over and for the sake of the vulva.” His fantastically grotesque creations eventually earned him a place in “Degenerate Art”; a traveling exhibit showcasing offenders of Hitler’s personal crusade against modernism. But that’s a story best saved for another time.

3 Responses to “Impersonating Otto Dix”

  1. D Says:

    ‘The nipple diaries’? No, that’s some other german diary…

    One scenario, if it’s really his writing, it might be a really bad translation.

    You know Gaiman’s Stardust? That wasn’t recognizable at all in swedish. No idea what the translator, Hans Berggren, was doing, but he wasn’t quite translating into swedish. The result was some melange swenglish and extremely bad. Also he’d managed to ruin the actual story, thinking he was translating a book for 9 year olds. He’d completely missed the point.

    (I contacted the publisher to try to make them translate it again, but to no use.)

    If a tribute of some kind, I’m sure that writer has some great artistic reason for the impersonation. Possibly ‘it’s art’ and some about integrity.

  2. zoetica Says:

    D – there’s a disclaimer on the site stating it’s a work of fiction – the author isn’t trying to actually pass this off as the real deal. I would be willing to think it was a bad translation from the original fiction though, if it weren’t for the fact that the author is a Los Angeles resident and was born in New York. Unless perhaps he’s purposely writing to make it seem like it’s a bad translation, which i somehow doubt.

    I commend your Stardust efforts! Let’s hope the publisher comes to his senses.

    Off to write the Nipple Diaries!

  3. D Says:

    Ah…disclaimer…yes (never post when tired).

    What the hell, I’ll go write some nipple diaries of my own too, some kind of receiving end, maybe as a play? Possibly ‘in your face’ and ‘up to date’. Could be a finnish road movie in there somewhere.