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“I would love to get a frank feedback. One gets only praises, which is fine somehow”
“Because it was the way that I ran into while approaching the painting as a realm. The painting was for me very interesting, but I struggled to understand it, since I come from the sculpting, ” a very frankly articulated answer to the question about his collage- looking paintings by Hendrik Zimmer. They do look like it, but they are very much masterly achieved representations by means of varied techniques out of drawing and painting in form of even sculptures on horizontal surfaces. The Frankfurt based German painter has clearly more than toured through visual artistic “areas” to reach what his actual paintings have turned to become. It has been a process, as usual, he would agree.
“Back then I hadn’t found out how to slip into painting during my college time. My academic mentor almost prohibited me to paint. We had to back up our painting escapes with reasons why we dared to do them, concepts, everything that led us to it. Since I feel really attracted to visual elements in my surroundings like ads on the streets, I grabbed all this and decided upon to work on it as a background material. I´ve been looking for the reasons of valence difference. I did not feel why a poster seemed to be less valuable than a painting, or where these criteria came from and who judged the whole. I took this regard as a starting point. I would break it into pieces and paint my stuff out of some separate elements. It is exactly what I do nowadays,” Zimmer explains.
Newspapers and ads on images of paintings
As a matter of fact, Zimmer used street signs, logos and tangible elements; he could take newspapers and pasted as a background. It might look like hustle and bustle and would reveal his sculpting approach. The whole results in intended layers from pasting and removing images and motives that allow new visuality to emerge with chaos and order in alternation. It amazes and captivates. He now paints more than sculpts.
The Artist increasingly felt bound to paint after discovering an existential vibe about it. “I love the wide spectrum of issues and history. And most of all arts that I feel touched by are paintings. Almost every image getting to move my bones during a museum visit are paintings. There are amazing photos, performances, installations and sculptures. There is no doubt about it. But they don´t get into me,” reveals the former outstanding junior of a sculpting course at Städel School of Arts in Frankfurt , Germany.
One would ask themselves why he actually started with sculpting then. He reveals that painting was an interdisciplinary subject for the major Sculpting. He was surrounded and supported by renown art professors in that Städel School of Arts. The artistic cooperation of subjects gave Zimmer a glimpse at painting and its fascination. Back then, the Städel junior student understood that his way to painting was paved by sculpting. Zimmer attended curses of Tobias Rehberger, one of Germany´s most well-known artists.
Our eyes defines art through interpretation, and it is inevitable to be objective as a spectator. The education of an artist hardly differs from it. When asked how difficult it was for Zimmer to be trained by such a sculpting master in Tobias Rehberger, he revealed that all teachers do tried their best in being objective. Perhaps, thanks to the open approach of an education completed ranging between strict and conceptual teaching methods, Zimmer dared to grab what was left as complementary and made it pivotal in his paintings; ads, logos, newspapers, photos, magazines became central in pursuing painting. “At the end of my study, I was willing to build my own view on art far from very personal approach that could have overwhelmed us,” he said. Art lives from and for appreciation and critics, it is its purpose and source likewise. Hendrik Zimmer is better open to honest views. “We need feedbacks, they´re necessary. Critics are seldom. I would love to get a frank feedback. One gets only praises, which is fine somehow,” Zimmer says. “ I would find it so cool to make my artworks move people the way other artist´s works have made with me so far. For instance, a Van Gogh´s painting that touched me so profoundly that it became part of my being, believe me. It was a physical impact on me. I´d love to reach the same in people´s existence,” Zimmer confirms. His powerful works stand out thanks to their appeal to the common experiences that the artist highlights by means of a re-interpretation of single elements in new compositions. Perhaps he had already achieved to move people and make that physical and emotional impact that he also once experienced. Unfortunately, the spectator rarely gets to share that moment with the author. It would hard to conceive otherwise.
In light of Zimmer ongoing Exhibition in Frankfurt´s gallery Heike Strelow, the Artist embarked in a pictorial visual reflection of the very dawn of our every day lives. The German exhibition title “Morgen und Felder” literally represents the English morning, or better dawn, grabbed in struggles for existence, survival of one and many or every human being. His exhibition is being shown virtually at www.galerieheikestrelow.de.
By Vincent Echenique
Source: Interview with Hendrik Zimmer
Also see, http://www.hendrikzimmer.de/