Hank Schmidt in der Beek (born 1978, lives in Berlin) draws on an archive of art history, documentary films, exhibition visits and lectures to create new levels of meaning. His automated painting technique is a process-driven method that brings paintings seen in documentaries about Mondrian, Magritte, Beckmann, Ernst and Hockney back to the canvas. In doing so, he appropriates another painter’s technique, using it as a narrative strategy to create something that is entirely his own. Schmidt in der Beek creates his collages by selecting and combining items from his vast library of visual elements. With a diverse array of visual levels, the artist succeeds in creating new meanings, which in turn generate a formalistic, graphic and unmistakably humorous aesthetic. In his series "Man Ray im Internationalen Kontext" (Man Ray in an International Context) he brings together visual materials featuring artistic and film icons of the 1920s and 1930s that are ingrained in the public consciousness. In one of the works, for example, Laurel and Hardy examine classic works of modern art while avoiding existing theoretical discourses, almost as if they are trying to offer the viewer a new perspective on them. And all without using words, of course.
Hank Schmidt in der Beek has been working in collaboration with Niklas Schechinger since 2000 and they have produced numerous exhibition and book projects, which have appeared and been published all over the world. Schmidt in der Beek studied at the Offenbach Academy of Art and Design and at the Académie des Beaux-Art in Brussels.