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Wunderkind: Portraits of 50 Contemporary German Artists

Length: 330 pages3 hours


What makes an artist? What forces and inklings drive a young man or woman to make their own journey, and where does it begin? In imaginary childhood games? In chance encounters? At the sensitive core of the human heart?

To answer these and other questions, award-winning author Rory MacLean met more than one hundred working German artists. He traced how childhood obsessions or a spark of inspiration developed in the imagination. He walked beside a platinum rock star and a struggling caricaturist, followed the process of best-selling novelists, tracked the life stories of top film makers, sculptors, painters and the godfather of techno. He saw how political rebellion, English punk, Pershing missiles, Joseph Beuys, even Elvis Presley awoke the creative spirit. He learnt that art is a weapon, that art can heal, and that art deals with the mysteries that lie in the spaces between the words.

Berlin, Europe's capital of reinvention, is the setting for most interviews, and the ideal place in which to observe the forces and sensibilities that make and sustain (or undermine) the free thinker. After the fall of the Wall, the city became a kind of creative utopia infused with pioneering energy. At its heart was an experiment in the power of the imagination. In Wunderkind, 50 selected artists reveal their passions and doubts, their working methods, their secret struggles and – above all – show that the task of the artist truly is uncompromisingly simple; to discover what has not yet been done, and to do it.

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