Henrik Jacob

Henrik Jacob is a German artist who creates artificial worlds between the second and third dimension, and he shows his work as installations and interactions in the streets.

The main project that has engaged the artist throughout his career is his investigation how familiar pictures from popular culture are constructed and what lies behind our desire to give them credence. This series, called KNETE, is a manifestation of what happens when one approaches image-making from an entirely novel viewpoint and methodology. The Knete series are in fact hand-sculpted images, made entirely from black, grey and white modeling clay that appear, at first glance, to be blurry photographs. The artist is playing with our senses: our eyes want to ‘flatten’ his pictures, to reduce them to reproductions of the photographic source from

which they originate. But each piece of modeling clay that makes up the final picture has been painstakingly applied by the artist to build up a believable image. Our concept of image-making is forced to take a detour under Jacob’s playful ‘in and out’, ‘back to front’ and ‘upside down’ handling. His images are not photographs and they are not paintings. We see them as images, but are they sculpture? The artist’s handling of the picture plane in the Knete series suggests a closet sculptor, caught in a painter’s body. As onlookers, we are invited to share in the open-ended theatre of everyday psychodrama, obsessively and compulsively embossed by the artist’s thumbprints.

In Henrik Jacobs modeling clay-work, Cafe Deutschland International – The Bar, the visitor is standing in the black and white 4 x 3 m installation and is invited to take a seat and have a drink. The artist reconstructed a typical German neighbourhood-bar with bottles, souvenirs and postcards that refer to current political events in Germany. The spectators are invited to change their point of view, walk around and talk with the artist.

Life: Henrik Jacob

Henrik Jacob was born in 1972 in Dresden (Eastern Germany/GDR). He studied Fine Arts at Hochschule für Künste, Bremen/Germany (1994–2000) and was a guest student at Winchester School of Art, Barcelona (Spain). In 2001 he finished the art academy as a master student of Prof. Rolf Thiele at the Hochschule für Künste Bremen. He lives and works in Berlin as a Co-Founder and Curator of the Berlin based and award-winning art space Kulturpalast Wedding International, which is a member of Kolonie Wedding.

The works of Henrik Jacob have been shown in various gallery and museum exhibitions all over Europe, for example in Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Great Britain; and he has won several awards and artist’s grants.