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Christopher Wool

I met Kippenberger in 1986 or 1987 on my first trip to Cologne; of course I’d already heard a lot about him. We were at the Königswasser bar, and Kippenberger, keeping a low profile, was camped out in the back by the cigarette machine. He was wearing a suit and a turtleneck; I thought he looked like a priest.

Some of the best stand-up performance I ever saw was Martin telling jokes in the back of some bar or restaurant. I must have heard the “wishy-washy joke”—an endless and basically senseless wordplay—ten times before I had someone explain it to me, but I always laughed like crazy anyway; his sense of humor could be very abstract. A few years later I had a show in Cologne of some new paintings that included a little color for the first time. After dinner Kippenberger stood up and gave a toast: “Here’s to Christopher Wool and his BIG breakthrough in blue.” When he was living in LA in the

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