This is the most significant of the group of chocolate multiples Roth made in the late 1960s. The title is a reference to the 1916 novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce, but the work is a portrait of Roth as an old man, cast in a mixture of chocolate and birdseed. It is intended to be mounted on a post in the open air and consumed by birds until nothing remains. Unlike a traditional marble portrait bust, meant to endure through the ages, this work is a testament to Roth’s belief in impermanence and the inevitability of aging and bodily decay.
Gallery label from Wait, Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth, February 17–June 24, 2013.