The Montresso foundation presents in collaboration with the german artist, Hendrik BEIKIRCH, the project – TRACING MOROCCO.
Eternal wanderer of his time, Hendrick Beikirch, in collaboration with the Montresso foundation, wanted to pay a tribute to Moroccan lines of work that are slowly going out of business, at least the way they nowadays persist. The idea came from the natural observation of the men and women who keep those gestures alive in the souks in the mountain villages or in the secluded corners of the Moroccan countryside. Those are unforgettable “faces” often photographed but never praised. The process and the idea became self-logical: to photograph the context, pause on the occupation and let Hendrick Beikirch immortalize the man like in a tribute to mankind!
They remain thousands, shepherds, truck drivers driving overloaded machines, butchers, zelligers or simple masons used to ancestral and rudimentary equipment… It is impossible to name them all… Those who know Morocco, have come across and noticed those unbelievable truths.
At the outset, there is the encounter with the subject — by chance, in the streets, the watchful eye always on the lookout. It starts with a photo, such as anyone might take — but here the objective is precise, the intention a major one. Old men and women who have not been spared by the passage of time or by the fatigue of a whole lifetime. These are workers, craftsmen, fishermen, they possess knowledge and they pursue crafts and trades that are destined to disappear. It is neither written nor explained, but it is obvious: these men and women are the custodians of some of humanityʼs treasures.
Hendrik Beikirch came in artistic residency at Jardin Rouge a dozen times since June 2014 and realized 22 portraits, that will be shown at Marrakesh in December 2015.
Then during his 2015 world tour, Hendrik Beikirch reproduced his portraits on gigantic walls in all major cities worldwide and is still going to reproduce them throughout 2016. Some walls are already displayed for passersby, fans of the artist, to all of those who, bewildered, discover them randomly in New York, Roma, Copenhagen, Oslo, Murmansk, Toulouse, Naestved… Everywhere with the same respect of these simple people, it is Morocco and its culture, the splendor of its residents that are being honored and call out passersby!
This is what makes these portraits so unique: they are the centre of attention in a society in which they are normally invisible. In changing the dimensions and the status from the classic portrait in a conventional format to an urban mural, these faces do not lose their realistic character — on the contrary, it comes across all the more strongly. Urban painting of Beikirch are the culmination of a project that has involved many people. All of these have had to listen, realize the message, support it, so as to finally accept that the work can be accomplished. It is also a work that is the union of every opposite: the subject is simple, the painting complex.
The message is clear, the scale is spectacular. The universal and the individual live side by side until they merge together.
TRACING MOROCCO is first of all the encounter between a man, a country and his people. The book highlights the beauty of encounters and human passions. In order to honour them, Hendrick Beikirch portrayed those Moroccans, emphasising these anonymous’ fascinating emotions. During his Moroccan escapades he created unadorned portraits, without any inappropriate effusions nor overflowing empathy.
The book Tracing Morocco, published by the art foundation Montresso, will be introducing exclusively in December, at the occasion of presentation of the ending work of residency of Hendrik Beikirch at Jardin Rouge.
Thanks to all the ladies and gentlemen of Morocco who accepted to be part of the project, all voluntary and sympathetically. No image was stolen. They all are the testimony of a legacy that should not be lost but immortalized in this project - TRACING MOROCCO.
About Hendrik Beikirch
German artist Hendrik Beikirch aka ECB made himself noticed thanks to his gigantic mural portraits of random anonymous he met during his many travels. In Busan, in North Korea, he painted a 230 feet tall wall.
Hendrik Beikirch meticulously paints each wrinkle of his models’ face, in an effort to share their story. His portraits are true life stories. The artist aims at revealing the beauty of those men and women bearing the traces of time, in our society made of bland images.
His limited colour range and the contrasts he shapes underline the vulnerability of his subjects, inducing a simple relation based on emotion between the viewer and the subject. Whether they appear on the corner of a street, the front of a building or on a canvas indoor, the sincerity displayed by ECB’s paintbrush turns these anonymous into silent companions.
Jardin Rouge – Marrakech
Hendrik BEIKIRCH – TRACING MOROCCO