The Miserable Bastard Show: Benni Kakert

8 December 2023 - 27 January 2024 Berlin

Each day, we encounter the inner struggles and personal abysses of humankind, often without even realizing it. We experience misery and develop our own coping mechanisms. This process may be the key to personal growth and potentially the path to self improvement. In "The Miserable Bastard Show" (through January 13 at ARTCO Gallery), Berlin born and based artist, Benni Kakert (1994) shows us his way of dealing with things: painting. Each canvas shows an addendum from the artist's life. His endeavors to process an event and - in the best case - to come to terms with it.


After all, a person who endures significant pain in order to process, and learn from things cant possibly be considered as bad can they? In his search for answers, Kakert reflects his personality in many of his paintings. This persona, his alter-ego called Dennis (whose name came from a therapy session) is bad. His face is painted in a 'corpsepaint style', taken from the black metal subculture - and is not to be mistaken as a clown. Dennis is in all of us. He is in the woman at reception and in the face of the man with rabbit ears - always well concealed behind a disguise. 

Kakert reveals the true faces of these personalities by tearing off their masks. But can this attempt to unravel misery succeed or have we been taken for a fool again? In any case, it is an honest attempt that requires courage.


In contrast to the large-format works, in which Kakert applies strong colors in acrylic on canvas, the small wooden boxes measuring 30 x 30 cm offer a supposedly light fare. They combine photos of himself, his dog Freddi and people he feels connected to, with text, symbols and colorful sketches. They prance light-footedly around the giants in canvas form like funny little goblins, mocking them for their melancholy. A cynical commentary on the misery within us. On our miserable lives.


Julian Rümenapf