Der Gott der Stadt

in art •  11 months ago

Yesterday I biked through the wealthy neighbourhood, Østerbro (also called Oyster Bronx) to buy a book at an antiquarian. It was an introduction to German literature in the first half of the twentieth century, a period I once researched thoroughly.

@shanibeer asked some questions about it and I suddenly felt like reading some of those old poems again. This morning I got to work on a Katharsisdrill artwork based on one of these poems.

It was written by Georg Heym and is called: Der Gott der Stadt

In simple, almost childish imagery, he renders the modern metropolis on top of which an old heathen God has renewed his act. If any of you have seen Fritz Lang's film Metropolis, it is sort of the same idea... sort of.

Here is the poem - in German.

              Der Gott der Stadt

     Auf einem Häuserblocke sitzt er breit.
     Die Winde lagern schwarz um seine Stirn.
     Er schaut voll Wut, wo fern in Einsamkeit
     die letzten Häuser in das Land verirr'n.

     Vom Abend glänzt der rote Bauch dem Baal,
     die grossen Städte knieen um ihn her.
     Der Kirchenglocken ungeheure Zahl
     wogt auf zu ihm aus schwarzer Türme Meer.

     Wie Koybanten-Tanz dröhnt die Musik
     der Millionen durch die Strassen laut.
     Der Schlote Rauch, die Wolken der Fabrik
     ziehn auf zu ihm, wie Duft von Weihrauch blaut.

     Das Wetter schwelt in seinen Augenbrauen.
     Der dunkle Abend wird in Nacht betäubt.
     Die Stürme flattern, die wie Geier schauen
     von seinem Haupthaar, das im Zorne sträubt.

     Er streckt ins Dunkle seine Fleischerfaust.
     Er schüttelt sie. Ein Meer von Feuer jagt
     durch eine Strasse. Und der Glutqualm braust
     und frisst sie auf, bis spät der Morgen tagt.

(here is a link to an English Translation) - thanks to @shortcut

@ocrdu said I should draw the chaos. here's a go at it.

Der Gott der Stadt. High resolution version here.

This work is licensed under a

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Attribute - Katharsisdrill - Site:

Authors get paid when people like you upvote their post.
If you enjoyed what you read here, create your account today and start earning FREE STEEM!
Sort Order:  

Amazing collage!
Here is some kind of English translation of the poem.
And I also enjoyed listening to this heavy metal version:


Thanks :) I thought about you when making it... that you might enjoy it - in all its ugliness.

Thanks for the links. The translation is better than nothing. I'll add it to the text. And the metal version :) :)


I'm really loving it and I even thought about printing and framing it ;-)

The head part somehow reminds me of @reinhard-schmid's self portrait and the Oyster Bronx brings back good memories of my time in Dortmund's northern district, which I liked in all it's ugliness. (The beer bottle fits quite well in this scenario.)

I wonder, if this is a new painting, you're working on in the bottom right?


And you will even be able to go A2 if you want to - it is fairly large.

I hadn't thought of the connection to Reinhard, but it is quite obvious as is the fact (which I hadn't thought of either) that the Gott der Stadt is a Selfportrait.

The pictures are exclusively from my own Northern working class neighbourhood, Nørrebro (Northern Bridge) also called Nørre Bronx by the local hip-hop-hoodlum youth - that is why the rich and peaceful Østerbro (Eastern Bridge) is being called Oyster Bronx as a joke :)

It sounds like all Northern quarters are rif-raf?

The painting is old and other old painting are incorporated, among them the one with the beer bottle. It is not at all as big as it looks like in the collage.


I'd like to see that printed as a Riesenposter and being hung up in the Oyster Bronx ;-)

I've also met a pressman, who will eventually make (art-)prints for Steem. Will have to discuss the details at the end of this month.

Before that, I might be a bit more quiet than usual, because I will go to a city-trip next week.

Will keep you updated ;-)


I would like to see that too :) We once had a vernissage out there and people was yelling: "CAN WE PLEASE HAVE SOME QUIET!"

Looking forward to the update!

I like that poem, thanks for introducing me to it.

From a distance, without my glasses on, so with my vision duly blurred, the top half of that image reminds me of this imagery:


Same thing! Gutted and turned inside out, but same thing.

This is an amazing collage, I love how the 'creature' looms and has a Sewer cover for a stomach decoration. It's both funny and ominous, a combination I love.

I think my favourite German early 20thc writer is Rilke and this collage you made makes me think of this bit of one of his poems (it's in English though, sorry)

What we choose to fight is so tiny!
What fights with us is so great!
If only we would let ourselves be dominated
as things do by some immense storm,
we would become strong too, and not need names.


Funny and ominous is my middle names :)

Rilke was a great artist!

Now you've done it! In sleep terror awaits.


In this one I just didn't plan anything - I had ideas, but like Stephen King I like it when the artwork talks back. This time, even though none of the single parts are ugly or discomforting, it became a rather creepy self-portrait.


I can not decide if your statue is genial or rather scary ! :-)
I like it though ! :-)


It ended up rather more terrifying than I had anticipated, but I went with the flow.

Very unique type of art. I think It's a great art .