An ailing avian being, in conflict with itself and the world – at first glance, the protagonist of Anna Haifisch’s The Artist does not seem especially likeable. Nevertheless, the creature, which oscillates between self-pity and overconfidence, has attained remarkable popularity in Germany and abroad –with good reason. After all, this is a story about fundamental human questions: the autobiographically inspired hero is constantly wrestling with the virtually unsolvable discrepancies between expectation and reality. Haifisch’s character experiences all of this in a heightened form, resulting in highly amusing and often absurd episodes. The effect is magnified by Haifisch’s fitful, nervous strokes, which give the fragile figure a shimmering, insubstantial quality. In implied rooms, the sad-faced artist often seems to be fighting a losing battle in a visual sense too.
This contrasts with the quiet colour scheme with its warm pastel tones, giving the drawings a pleasant feel, while simultaneously reinforcing the impact of the main character and its tragicomic misadventures.