Hendrik Beikirch’s upcoming solo exhibition, Transsib – Greyhound. Paintings from train and bus rides, is a showcase of his latest works. As the title suggests, they are inspired by his travels and encounters on Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway and America’s Greyhound buses. Both transport the working classes, connecting people and products and bringing them in line. In Beikirch’s canvases, it is difficult to determine whether subjects hail from the East or the West, with only tiny details giving any clue. Like his previous works in graffiti, Beikirch blurs the boundaries.
In both his large-scale murals and canvases, Hendrik Beikirch 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 recognition value, characters who become all the more interesting because they remain anonymous.
Beikirch takes inspiration from accidental and brief encounters. In some cases, he gains insight into his sitter’s life. At other times, the particulars remain unknown. As such, his paintings are open to interpretation whilst exuding authenticity.
The 39-year-old German artist enlarges his portraits as tall as 70 meters (230 ft.). He applies India ink, acrylic paint, and spray paint – a rough tool that does not allow for pinpoint accuracy, but it does effectively reveal Beikirch’s background in graffiti, and the glance, expression and mood of his subjects.
The exhibition is open until May 19, 2013.
After a previous interview with ARTE Creative in February make sure to check out the interview with Hendrik Beikirch done for the 5Minutes series, where he talks about his perception of Urban Art / Street Art after being active in the scene since the late 1980s.
5Minutes is produced by the team behind ilovegraffiti.de and gives an extended view on urban art.
“Geographically, my eye has shifted from entire nations to border areas, the specificities of places, ethnic groups, traditions “not-yet-institutionalized”, and I think that my attitude is visible also in the approach that I use towards the media: I’m curious to face the spaces between photography and performance, interventions that cross public life and the virtual world, the search for beauty or controversy, without shutting myself into a specific classification. The cost reduction of technology on the one hand, and, on the other hand, the acquired ability to reproduce almost every idea, thanks to new technologies, are the perfect combinations for those, who, like me, are constantly distracted by what is around them and look for an approach that could be defined artisanal, based on mastering the use of various media not as the means to an end, but simply as tools.”
> read the full interview at Digicult
Recent interview talking mostly about his Silence: Shapes series
“I’ve been working for years on the use of language and painting words on walls, then I realized I had never focused on silence. Language is only complete when words are mixed with silence. I was watching some videos of political demonstrations without audio, and my eye was caught by the fact that the most aesthetically relevant thing joining the people and the messages was the movement of smoke in the air. So I decided to experiment with using smoke in plain nature. I wanted to juxtapose the beauty of a medium traditionally devoted to create chaos with the romantic beauty of landscapes. They complete each other in a perfect way confirming that beauty is found in clashing visions.”
Extensive interview featuring several unpublished photos