“Lebenskünstler” is a German word for someone who inhabits his or her daily life with the imagination and positive energy of an artist. The emphasis lies mostly on how an individual approaches life (“Lebenskunst” is defined as the art of living) and not necessarily on any concrete artistic endeavors.  For example, someone who turns an arduous chore into an amusing game could be considered a Lebenskünstler.

Tracing back to mid twentieth century Berlin, the notion of the Lebenskünstler arose from an anti-establishment mentality wherein the would be artist prized “the here and now” more than anything else (possibly as a result of the collective memory of multiple world wars), thereby valuing their actual work itself over the accolades or money it might bring.

Of course, to an outsider’s perspective, the Lebenskünstler might be considered a slacker or a loser—but I reject this idea. If you’ve met someone that could be considered a true Lebenskünstler, you’ll find that such a perspective is often very contagious.  



Sources: http://randallszott.org/lebenskunstler/

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.