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Nicole Eisenman

From Success to Obscurity

Information about the artwork

  • Year2004
  • MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions101.6 x 129.5 cm
  • On viewCurrently not exhibited

More about the artwork

Today we know of Nicole Eisenman’s phenomenal and ongoing success. But in the early 2000s, she agonized over the scenario of a descent “From Success to Obscurity”, which is also the title of her idiosyncratic self-portrait. In it, Ben Grimm alias The Thing from Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” comic series features as the artist’s alter ego. It’s a curious yet apt choice, because no matter how thick the creature’s skin, it still looks hurt. In the American comic series, Grimm finds it hard to come to terms with his heroic transformation, for his colossal muscularity and monstrous appearance make him not only a superhero, but also a feared societal outsider. His story is interpreted as a modern rephrasing of the Jewish Golem myth, especially since his physical appearance is directly inspired by depictions of the clay creature. Readers and fans had long suspected the Jewish identity of The Thing, and in 2002, it was explicitly discussed in the plot of a new comic book in the series—another connection to Eisenman’s biography.

Further artworks

Artwork: "The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 5 Years, 1 Street (Segment H1: December 29, 2001)" from Pope.L
Pope.L The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 5 Years, 1 Street (Segment H1: December 29, 2001), 2001-2006 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Ada in Red" from Alex Katz
Alex Katz Ada in Red, 1989 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "The Black Painting" from Pope.L
Pope.L The Black Painting, 2015 yes Ground floor
Artwork: "Interior (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Interior (Gaeta), 1999 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Corridor" from Thomas Eggerer
Thomas Eggerer Corridor, 2020 yes Ground floor