© Thorsten Brinkmann, Streefkerk, Berta von Schwarzflug, from the series Portraits of a Serialsammler, 2010

© Thorsten Brinkmann, Streefkerk, Venus del Whitespitz, from the series Portraits of a Serialsammler, 2008

“Enter Thorsten Brinkmann. Here is the confident hand of someone who knows the joke, knows just how to tell it, and, best of all, knows that there is something more to the story than just an easy laugh. Added to the mix is the fact that all the jokes are at his expense since every photo is a self-portrait. Thorsten Brinkmann creates environments. He goes out to the junkyards, flea markets, and dumpsters of the world to find the materials for his art. With those materials he builds walls, floors, objets, and furniture; the full contents of a scavenger’s apartment. Of course every apartment needs something on the walls, so he hangs pictures of himself covered with more of the junk trouvé. Of course, the backdrops for the photos are created environments as well. A mirror in a mirror in a…..


Brinkmann’s photos poke fun at himself and at these traditions. Yet the joke comes right back at us since he is upholstered behind what we have thrown away. The garish colors, cheap patterns, and texture of “real” vinyl contradict the luxe and private world that portraits like this usually reveal. Far from the castles and mansions that are haunted by portraits posed just like this, Brinkmann shows us ourselves as well. His wit is on display when he obscures himself behind the cast-off material of a consumer society. But behind the wit lies a dead on comment about dignity and individualism. The wit is just the camouflaged skin of a predator poised to go for the kill.”

essay by Evan Mirapaul

More of Thorsten’s work can be seen here

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