German muralist and portrait painter Hendrik ECB Beikirch was in Evry, France were he recently finished a 25 meters tall mural as part of the Wall Street Art festival in Grand Paris Sud.

Known for his outstanding photorealistic black and white portraits, Beirkich focuses on the meaning of each face he paints. These portraits are not only related to specific persons, but also the people and the culture they represent. As expressed by Beikirch: “these are portraits that do not try to thwart or break the mood of our cities, but share a silent companion with us. The portraits on the walls represent both the people behind them and those who populate the streets.”

Titled Darya, the new mural represents the start of a new chapter in Beikirch’s series focusing this time on Siberians living around Lake Baikal including Darya, an 83 years old woman living in a tiny village of around five houses.
For Beikirch, it is not only important to know where a person comes from, for the artist, but also to know who this person is. For the artist, painting is not just about the correct rendering of nature, but also nature’s essence and soul. This is why Beikirch only paints people he has met and with whom he took the time to live several days with in order to better understand who they are.
As remarked by the artist and the organisers, the history of a country is always easier to understand through its inhabitants, their lives and their faces. There are no societies without the elders, and we should not be afraid to put them forward and pay tribute to them because they represent the foundations of our present society.
As many have probably already noticed, the German artist, enjoys painting people of a certain age. Far from Photoshop and the smooth portraits that offered by the advertising industry, Beikirch offers us the true faces of people with a rich story behind them, told through each wrinkle on their faces and the expression of their eyes.

As part of this new project, the artist will create 11 frescoes around the world starting in Evry, France and continuing through Russia, Germany, United States, Italy, Pakistan, Greece, Netherlands, South Korea and many more. For now have a look at the images courtesy of Gautier Jordain, co-founder of Mathgoth gallery in Paris, and artistic director of the French association Le M.U.R. and the national program “100 Walls for Youth“.

About the artist
Hendrik Beikirch, also known by his alias “ECB”, creates eye-catching works of documentary and fictional portraiture that traverse the personal and the private. His distinctive monochromatic wall murals and interior works for galleries and museums confront viewers with richly storied subjects that fascinate through their sheer force of personality. At once anonymous, quotidian and enchanting in appearance – each of Beikirch’s figures has a story to tell. More than mere subjects, we find in his works genuine characters, made all the more fascinating by their anonymity. The reduced colour palette and striking contrasts that characterise Beikirch’s portraiture underscore the vulnerability of his subjects, while the scale of these works invites viewers to consider the relationship between individual and society, viewer and subject, public and private (read more).

About Wall Street Art
Wall Street Art is the continuation of a project started in 2015, the street art festival of ‘Evry Centre Essonne’, that welcomed around fifty artists from the six cities of the conurbation. Since then, the cluster of communities has grown from 6 to include 24 municipalities and is now called Grand Paris Sud. The festival also underwent some changes, recently adopting the name “Wall Street Art“.

The festival has announced an interesting line-up featuring names like David Walker, ECB, Astro, Case Maclaim and Fintan Magee, just to mention a few. Stay tuned!


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Fran

Author: Fran

Founder and editor of Urbanite. Street Art lover who after the finishing her MA thesis on the muralist movement in the 1920-50s, developed a fascination for street art and graffiti that eventually led to collaborations with different art blogs, including the creation of this one.