Happy Birthday Franz Kafka

Acrylic, watercolour and pen on wood.

Acrylic, watercolour and pen on wood.

I was kind of having a bad day, maybe even a bad week, and so I decided to paint one of my favorite writers. It being Franz Kafka’s birthday, I chose to paint something that he would possibly like. I mean, most people can’t refuse a portrait of themselves.

When I painted Allen Ginsberg, I felt as if I was growing closer to him. The same thing has happened with Kafka. I love his writing, but I had never had to be so intimate with his face. Painting his sharp features and dark suit made me feel as if I knew something secret about him. It could also have been how miserable I was feeling, I wanted to cling to something.

More About Kafka 

Kafka was a German speaking Jew born in Prague. From what I have read he struggled with this identity; at times he felt close to Judaism and other times he resented it.

On a side note: I have Jewish heritage, but I consider myself an Atheist.

Kafka was also a little sex crazed. I don’t know…who’s to judge really?

Franz, I think we are on a first name basis by now, passed away in 1924 of tuberculosis. He was only forty. He was also never famous during his lifetime. I can’t really say that this gives me hope; that when I die someone will discover my work – I’ll be dead. But in terms of Kafka, I am still thankful that he was discovered. The world would be sorely lacking without his stories, and novels.

A bit about the piece. 

The bug on his jacket is a cockroach, if you couldn’t tell. It symbolizes the insect that Gregor Samsa turns into in The Metamorphosis. I think this piece turned out fairly well. Although, I am not too jazzed about the cockroach as it turned out rather cartoony.

On a last note.

After I finish Notes From Underground, I have decided to read a book about Franz Kafka. I probably have one in my bookshelf.

This entry was published on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm. It’s filed under Artwork and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Franz Kafka

  1. Beautiful painting. Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” was the first book that really blew me away and I’ve been a fan ever since. When I visited Prague I was even lucky enough to see where he lived…..
    Cockroach looks fine, don’t worry.

    • Mark,
      Thank you very much. I actually haven’t read The Trial yet. I can see it resting on my bookshelf from where I’m sitting. Maybe it should be one of my next books. Oh, I would love to travel to Prague. I would even like to live there. Thanks again!

  2. You have a habit of paying tributes to people I admire deeply. It is a characteristic of yours which I find very enjoyable

  3. Pingback: Franz Kafka (1883–1924) was a German-language writer of novels – but he had to learn how. | Ace News Services

  4. Pingback: #DailyBookQuote 29May2013 : Franz Kafka’s Amerika | Whatever It's Worth...

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