Dieter Roth. P.O.TH.A.A.VFB (Portrait of the Artist as a Vogelfutterbüste [Birdseed Bust]). 1968

Dieter Roth P.O.TH.A.A.VFB (Portrait of the Artist as a Vogelfutterbüste [Birdseed Bust]) 1968

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 416 The David Geffen Galleries

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.
Multiple of chocolate and birdseed
overall: 8 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 4 3/4" (21 x 14 x 12 cm)
Harke Verlag, Cologne
Rudolf Rieser, Cologne
Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Endowment Fund and acquired through the generosity of Peter H. Friedland
Object number
© 2019 Estate of Dieter Roth
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