in both his large-scale murals and canvases, hendrik beikirch – also known as ecb – depicts the personal and the private, portraits that tell a story.
instead of illustrating famous people, he draws attention to those who have a magnetic personality or some other recognized value, characters who become all the more interesting because they remain anonymous.
these is no one specific, and therefore they remain just recognizable.
the anonymity of the portraits is what is of interest, associations with individuals accessed from the mass are being opened.
everyone has something special, a little different from the next.
a slightly different shade of color, in black and white, a personage as any other, but still themselves.
the melancholy that the faces radiate is somehow comforting, and these portraits in the public space are exactly where they belong.
these are portraits that do not try to thwart or break the mood of our cities, but share a silent companion with us.
the portraits on the walls represent both the people behind them and those who populate the streets.
both get a face here.
a peculiarity in the appearance of outdoor space is formed by his tendency to create perspectively distorted pictures in the fictional work series.
as realistically as they are in detail and technique, through perspective they are forcing the acceptance of their optical illusion, that of their image and character.
it makes for uncomfortable faces at a second glance.
shadows of the road, the undefined urban space, concrete figures at times melancholic, at times with a brisk expression: they require not only attention but demand their visibility.
this preoccupation with the large-format portrait is also reflected in his studio work.
random encounters and conversations provide the content for these mirror-of-the-soul images, translating personal history and sketching their expression on the canvas.
they get these strange stories inside, into the living room, and make walls transparent.
beikirch belongs to the generation of those who look for new approaches.
as a constant process of his artistic practice he experiments with how immediate and large-scale outdoor spaces can adequately be incorporated into interior works.
and vice versa composition and the detailing of the work on canvas carries over to the outdoors.
but above all, what is paramount is how the subject is a positive connection between the two domains, and further, how the special features of the presentation benefits the viewer.
mapping and representing are key concepts that create comprehensive remuneration and connect the exhibition space with public space.
as beikirch’s portraits address intimacy directed outwards, in the interior, they radiate anonymity.
in both chambers, they address in different facets the relationship of the individual with the crowd.
these relationships make beikirch’s work captivating and give it a unique position in the contemporary art world.
increasingly, his works in public space take on an almost utopian scale turning the painting process into a bold venture.
only in august 2012 he created a 70-meter-tall portrait of a fishermen in busan, south korea, now being asia’s highest mural.
followed by india’s tallest mural in new delhi as well as the tallest mural of the benelux in 2014.
there are not many who discuss the manner of interior and exterior spaces so clear, sophisticated and charming for both artist and viewer.
black and white, clearly ambiguous; ambivalent.