Joke, satire, irony and deeper meaning, the title of the 1827 play by Christian Dietrich Grabbe, could also serve as a heading for the work of Hank Schmidt in the Beek, 1978 born in Munich and now living in Berlin. True to the credo of another famous Munich native—"Every thing has three sides, a positive one, a negative one and a comical one." (Karl Valentin)—the artist uses his collages to draw from the visual repertoire of modern art in an extremely enjoyable way, by creating familiar themes of art history with the help of cartoon characters in completely new contexts.
In the best surrealistic tradition Hank Schmidt in the Beek brings high art down of its high pedestal: Miraculix for once cooks his magic potion in the magical footlets of René Magritte; walking through Jackson Pollock's studio, Tick and Trick protect themselves with an umbrella in front of the paint-spraying artist; and the Handy Smurf invented the weather machine, which—as we now know—was responsible for Caspar David Friedrich's famous painting "The Arctic Ocean".
Without fear, Donald and Daisy, Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Goofy, the Beagle Boys and the Smurfs walk into the sacred temple of art and subject its inventory to a radical semantic revision. Using scissors, glue and disarming insolence, Hank Schmidt in the Beek frees the incunabula of modern art from its historical significance and returns their presence and freshness which they possessed before they were ennobled to death by art history.