The Online Otto Dix Project

A German Artist and Print Maker

up arrow His Own Master


The arts are generally not a good pursuit for impatient individuals. With few exceptions, it generally takes years of toil and persistence to gain recognition. Van Gogh famously worked in virtual anonymity until his paintings broke sales records after his death. It’s hard to convince girls your dish washing gig is only temporary. “Once I’m discovered, I’ll pay my share of rent!”

Andrzej Sobiepan is a young Polish artist with either no patience or a very persistent girlfriend. He couldn’t stand the thought of toiling in obscurity.  “I decided that I will not wait 30 or 40 years for my works to appear” in a museum. Rather than bother curators with the laborious task of hanging his art, Sobiepan hung it for them. He walked into the Wroclaw National Museum and hung one of his paintings.

Sobiepan carefully chose a spot in the contemporary room for his small painting of a drooping leaf. He placed it after the guard wandered into another room. The painting remained undetected for three days. Once it was discovered, the museum director labeled it a “witty artistic happening.” The museum moved it near the gift shop. Since its discovery, the work had generated a good deal of buzz. It will be auctioned for charity.

Sobiepan accomplished his mission – his name is now recognized by the Polish art establishment. And what a name it is. According to Monika Scislowska, an AP reporter, “Sobiepan” translates to “his own master.” Unfortunately, “His Own Master” is a follower, not an innovator. The British artist Banksy pulled this stunt back in 2005 when he hung several of his own works in various New York galleries.