Ecb is a Kassel-born artis whose name became a fixed term in the graffiti and streetart subculture during the mid-90ies. Hendrik Beikirch, ebc’s real name, doesn’t try to proclaim that the white cube is the street, but portraits the street, the homeland of all graffiti artists, on canvases. If you look at the gloomy, photographically accurate sprayed stairways, bridges and fences, you believe to find yourself in one of the melancholic visions of the city underground, which became increasingly rare.
Graffiti has a very special aesthetics on the edge between art and vandalism. “The sign language of the modern city natives” became the usual characteristics of the mural pictures created with a spraycan in hand. In his canvases Hendrik “ecb” Beikirch doesn’t show the way from the underground to the respectability of the galleries, but reveals that graffiti is about space and its presentation to the public. That’s why he doesn’t transfer the signs from the city walls on his canvases, but the topographic sceneries, in which this art takes place.
Stairways, bridges and passages are the subjects of his work. Above them is an endless sky, which symbolizes the open public space, which is the origin of graffiti art. Anonymity and secrecy of this practice turnes in ecb’s pictorial visions into the almost photographical perfection. The intentionally reduced colours, their blurring and liquefaction emanate the melancholy of the extinct age. The feeling caused by ecb’s works is similar to the one evoken by early photographs. Graffiti becomes the art of the ephemeral beauty. When the artist copes with human figures, he makes them also seem pensive and wistful. He emphasizes this effect by using a technique reminding of grisaille painting.
In year 2004 Hendrik Beikirch published a book titeled “straight lines, a ten year graffiti art dialog”.