Martin Heukeshoven

by Martin Heukeshoven, edited by Jay Koka

Born in 1962 near Hamburg, I grew up in southern Germany near Stuttgart . Although best known as a capital of the motor industry, I was much more impressed with the French landscapes and rural workshops I discovered during holiday trips with my parents.

From the beginning my craftsmanship and passion were well supported by my dad… he was a big fan of electric railroad modelling. So my brother and I absorbed all these interests and so my preferences were set. As a result, my school performance, except for working and drawing, was barely acceptable. I didn’t care at that time … my buddies and I shared a wonderful childhood in our small hometown environment.

Educated in graphic arts, I later became self-employed, restoring and creating furniture from scratch. I was also interested in classic cars… especially French examples. The welding of thin, rusty French car bodies was a good education and practice for my future art pursuits.

When did it start? I really have no idea. It came on by accident and was a result of all the bits and pieces that lay around both in my mind and on the workbench. It began its drive in the late 90’s as I was split up with my girlfriend and would weld away my anger (…the cliché of the suffering artist! )

People occasionally ask me at exhibitions why I don’t execute my designs as “perfect, pristine” vehicles. The answer is that that is boring for me. Today, the patina of lost and abandoned cars and their sometimes derelict facilities have became much more my personal taste. In my youth I was very fascinated by and interested in creating models in a manner of illusion for film special effects. This has had a great influence on my art today

The hyper-realism in the work of some of my friends and colleagues that work in a photorealistic style begs the argument: where is the art if you copy the reality? I find that the craftsmanship and the imagination in non-commissioned work is often better in result than the narrow demands made by commissioned work. This is an old problem I share with all other artists.

I opened a Pandora’s box of complication with the developing of “Technical Sculptures”. This has led me to ever-escalating complexity that I can barely realize from one project to the next. I mean that seriously. I do the work as best I can and I’m never in a hurry. The process is extremely time consuming and somewhere between imagination and construction the choice of material and structure is essential to achieve the look I have conceived for the finished work.

I create about 3 works in a year. I’ve completed about 35 sculptures and they are spread all over the world.

I only wish my teachers from the past could see this…

I exhibit regularly at the Paris Retromobile show as a member of ArtistAuto since 2004.

motor>spirit - Rob Alen