Georg Baselitz became known for his figurative, expressive paintings and sculptures. In 1969 he began painting his subjects upside down in an effort to overcome the representational, content-driven character of his earlier work, exploring what it means to be a German artist in the postwar era, and stress the artifice of painting. Drawing from a myriad of influences, including art of Soviet era, the Mannerist period and African sculptures, he developed his own, distinct artistic language.
His work is characterized by bold colors, forceful brushstrokes, and the incorporation of folkloric or archetypal subject matter. “I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived and the picture that fights for its own life.”