Marius Sperlich could have become world famous that day. It’s January 12th, 2017, in a small shared apartment in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Sperlich is in a bad mood. He, a 25-year-old artist and photographer, had previously uploaded his new photo to Instagram: a close-up of a female genital area, with a Nike logo emblazoned on the shaved pubis. For this, the platform briefly blocked him and deleted his picture. Suddenly Sperlich’s cell phone lights up. A friend writes to him: Madonna posted your picture! Sperlich thinks it’s a joke, which is how he tells it today. But it’s true: The pop queen calls for the Women’s March, writes “Just Do It” – and posts his picture underneath. What is missing? Marius Sperlich’s name.

Today, seven years later, around 534,000 people follow him on Instagram. Sperlich has now exhibited his art in Miami, Hamburg and São Paulo, photographed and designed “Playboy” covers, designed bomber jackets, sold NFTs, created music videos and designed record covers for the rapper Ufo361. International media such as “Forbes” and “The Guardian” reported on the artist from Germany.

Many people know his art, but little is known about the artist. Because unlike other Instagram celebrities, he doesn’t post any advertising collaborations, doesn’t shoot daily stories and doesn’t speak into the camera. Sperlich is not an influencer – he is an internet phenomenon. How did he do that?

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