Akt mit Pferd is an art series composed of 10,000 paintings with ever the same motif, each piece is exactly one euro more expensive than the last. Akt mit Pferd #1/10,000 sold for € 1, whereas Akt mit Pferd #10.000/10,000 will cost € 10,000.
Akt, in German, can mean various things like deed, act (dram.), file/record or stock/share, which is a pity for all our handcrafted marketing-puns now lost in translation. However, in our project’s title it refers to the artistic Nude, so Akt mit Pferd = Nude with Horse.
This video explains it all again, ostensively in 90 seconds.
(Might be that you’ll need to activate english subtitles manually by clicking ‘CC’)
An art series that consists of 10,000 drawings is, of course, megalomaniac. Even after the idea rapidly caught fire, we soon realised that this would, even by most other standards, not be an ordinary project but rather a genuine life’s work. With the Sisyphean task of a myriad of individual works of art we deliberately set ourselves an overambitious goal that might also lead some to doubts about its achievability. Thus, its very implementation becomes a work of performance that thrives on the question of whether and if so, when we can complete the series. Our answer is an unreserved yes! Without a shadow of doubt! Or, put in other words: Akt mit Pferd is the manual work of art in the age of digital reproduction. The series is therefore also a story of artistic development. We will not conceal the fact that there may be greater masters of the subtle brushstroke. But with Nude with Horse, the consummate collector can follow the development across the series whose evolution represents the development of an artist. Here too the basic concept of the pre-programmed incremental increase in value bears out the artistic development, as the price too increases – pre-announced, in a stable and transparent way.
With a combined value of 50,005,000 Euros Akt mit Pferd is financially ambitious. Normally dictated by market forces of supply and demand, we are turning the tables and are dedicating ourselves to another established concept, that of continual increase in value. What appears to be hubris is, in truth, a venture, for there won’t be any possibility for us to adjust our art’s prices to a staggering or rising demand. Will we, at the end be sitting on thousands of unsold paintings? Or will we sell-out our life’s work well below value? By settling this continuity we are, in a novel way, putting the value of art up for debate. Ten thousand euros for a yet unpainted work of two yet unknown artists may appear to be an impressive sum. For a piece that its creators had years and years of practice and 9,999 trial runs on the way to perfection, another term comes to mind: an absolute bargain.
The two creators of Akt mit Pferd are Jens Ole Mayer and Beni von Alemann who are close friends since their days of study at Bauhaus-University in Weimar. Their creative home turf is design, which is both their handiwork and artistic philosophy. Until Akt mit Pferd one day indeed can pay the rent, they work respectiely as a graphic designer in Berlin (Mayer) and video artist in Köln (von Alemann). In the constellation as a duo, all Akte mit Pferd have been made by four hands. A rough division of responsibilities for creation exists – Jens Ole Mayer is responsible for the Akt (nude) and the Pferd (horse) is drawn by Beni von Alemann. Everything else is made in a creative dialogue; ping-pong with ideas.
On another central topic we do not wish to comment. That is to say, whatever the meaning of the central motif of nude and horse in its many variations may be, this should be construed where it is constructed: in the eye of the beholder.
All Nudes with Horse are numbered chronologically in the order they were created.
A painting’s serial number is simultaneously its price (including VAT).
The series is limited to a quantity of 10,000 specimen of Akt mit Pferd. After that it’s finished.
More images in print and link-quality plus a collection of further informative texts can also be found in our Media-Kit.