Inner Core Smiley, 2020 by Fredrik Erichsen – Fig. 36

Year: 2020

Edition: Unique artwork

Dimensions (diameter): 37,6 cm

Depth: 8,5 cm

Weight: 2,2 kg

Materials: mixed media

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Fredrik Erichsen (German, b. 1980)

Fredrik Erichsen is a self-taught artist. Over 2 decades of artistic creation lie behind him. Full of studies, research and ongoing developments of his ideas and thoughts. Part of the artistic creation was also developing his craftsmanship and experimenting with any available materials. Pushing these materials to their limits, he found out which concepts were viable or not. He developed the ideas that did not end up in the bin, making series of them ready to be exhibited.

One of the key elements that influenced Fredrik Erichsen was the upcoming graffiti culture in his neck of the woods. Not only the lines and colours appealed to him, but also the surfaces in the public space where street art pieces appeared on. This is also where his “Concrete Love” series has come from: mimicking the concrete structure on which his idols tagged and painted their street pieces. By making them look like “cut-outs” from the city walls and buildings, Fredrik Erichsen also refers to the act of preserving archeological findings such as cave paintings we can admire in museums.

Collected by “die Grünen” in 2008 and hanging in the Reichstag in Berlin ever since.

Started in 2006, the Concrete Love series by Fredrik Erichsen was first picked up in 2008 by the “Bündnis 90/die Grünen” parliamentary group. A large quadtych, painted by Fredrik as a political commentary about a local environmental issue, caught the eye of the political top of “die Grünen” and has been hanging in their meeting room in the Reichstag building in Berlin ever since. 

Fredrik Erichsen & Hubert Kalkman

Twelve years after starting his Concrete Love collection, Fredrik Erichsen and Hubert Kalkman met in Maastricht, NL. “Freddy”, as he calls himself, casually made a comment that he would like to show what he makes. Once he revealed his work in the flesh, there was no doubt about the quality and talent of the composition or the use of materials to mimic concrete. The best testimony to this is that people keep asking how to install such heavy artworks, while in actuality the artworks are relatively light.

At the end of 2018 Fredrik Erichsen started exhibiting part of the first series of Concrete Love, from 2010, in Maastricht. Shortly after a few sales, Freddy started developing the Concrete Love series by mixing the “heavy” character of concrete with the “lightness” of happy emojis.

Drip Smileys and Art Fairs

Freddy’s first series of concrete emoji smileys was presented during the summer of 2019 with Hubert Kalkman. During Affordable Art Fair Amsterdam (Oct 30 – Nov 3rd 2019) the attention for his Smileys kicked off big time, resulting in a waiting list for the next collection. As all sculptures are hand carved and painted, the next fair was a good date to work up to: Affordable Art Fair Brussels, March 2020 (postponed until September 2020). During the 4 months between the 2 fairs, Fredrik Erichsen has not only created 14 sculptures, but has had the time to methodically research, experiment and develop new ideas. Just the way he has been working the last 2 decades.

Hopefully Fredrik & Hubert (mostly Hubert) can meet you in Maastricht or any art fair we are exhibiting at. Thanks for reading.

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