Worldwide there are few now. In China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Chile, Argentina,
Mexico, the United States…
In all these places, global urbanization has left large-scale concrete surfaces.
Now, one of its positive side effects are certain oversized black and white faces, held together by individualized lines of text on the sides of buildings, under bridges, and on blank walls.
These are no one specific, and therefore, just recognizable. The anonymity of the portraits is of interest. Associations with individuals accessed from the mass are being opened.
Everyone has something special, even though he is 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 places 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.
Regarding Beikirch's straight-line concept, one may also mention that the lettering or letter elements in the mural provide part of the title. Instead of the artist's name, the text suggests an image, controlling the associations of the viewer.
A peculiarity in the appearance of outdoor space is formed by his tendency to create perspectively distorted pictures. 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.
There are archetypes of the blind walls that stand out and live under bridges, which everyone knows, what everyone knows, they are there, but nobody's ever really seen or perceived them.
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 on canvas.
The fate of individuals with a collective character form an important, long-time work series. 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 technique, 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.
There are not many who discuss the manner with which interior and exterior spaces can be clear, sophisticated and charming for both artist and viewer.
Black and white, clearly ambiguous; ambivalent.
lene ter haar