“All my work is conceptual… The main theme above all series is empathy.”
The Genesis of a Visionary
Tom Bienert embarked on his creative journey in Germany. His early exposure to the art of photography, thanks to his father, a painter, laid the foundation for his lifelong passion. Bienert’s teenage years were marked by a growing fascination with the camera, an instrument that would later become central to his artistic expression. This early interaction with photography not only nurtured his skill but also ingrained a deep appreciation for visual storytelling.
The transformative phase in Bienert’s artistic life began with his formal education in Visual Communication. His subsequent career in international advertising, where he rose to the positions of Art Director and Creative Director, further honed his skills in graphic design and photography. These twin pillars of creativity became the bedrock of his art, influencing his approach and style. Bienert’s professional journey, although fulfilling financially, left him yearning for a more liberated form of creative expression. This quest for artistic freedom eventually led him to a decisive moment in 2018 when he chose to dedicate himself wholly to art.
From Advertising to Art: A Journey of Self-Discovery
Bienert’s transition from advertising to art was not just a career shift but a profound journey of self-discovery. His work in advertising, while rewarding, couldn’t satiate his creative thirst, a void that only art could fill. This realization propelled him to explore his artistic inclinations more seriously. Despite not selling any work at his first exhibition, a photography fair in his hometown of Düsseldorf, the positive feedback he received was a critical turning point. It wasn’t long before his talents were recognized by a global gallery, opening doors to international exhibitions across Asia, Europe, and the USA.
Bienert’s early interests in photography and admiration for renowned photographers played a pivotal role in his artistic evolution. Even while immersed in his advertising career, he continued to engage with various forms of art, including painting, drawing, writing, and music. These explorations, although transient, were integral in shaping his artistic identity. His unwavering love for photography, however, remained a constant, eventually becoming the central medium of his artistic expression. This journey, marked by periods of exploration and refinement, illustrates Bienert’s relentless pursuit of a medium that truly resonated with his vision and creative ethos.
Tom Bienert: Eclectic Inspirations Beyond Photography
Tom Bienert’s artistic influences are as diverse as his creations. His inspiration spans various realms, including architecture, painting, and photography, transcending the traditional boundaries of artistic disciplines. Iconic figures like Oscar Niemeyer, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Irving Penn have significantly influenced Bienert’s work. However, it’s not their specific artworks that have left an imprint on him, but rather their unique perspectives and methods. From Penn’s clarity and precision, Basquiat’s narrative power, to Niemeyer’s fluid architectural forms, Bienert draws elements from each to enrich his artistic vocabulary.
This eclectic mix of influences is evident in Tom’s work, where one can sense the narrative depth akin to Basquiat’s paintings, the clarity and brilliance of Penn’s photography, and the fluidity that echoes Niemeyer’s architecture. Yet, despite these influences, Tom Bienert remains committed to carving his own path. His approach to art is not about imitation but inspiration, using these influences as a springboard to explore and express his unique vision. This aspect of his work highlights his dedication to originality, ensuring that each piece, while reflecting a myriad of influences, remains distinctly a Bienert creation.
A Deeply Personal and Political Artwork
Among Bienert’s diverse portfolio, one piece holds a special place – a work born out of his series “THE DAY BEFORE.” This series was significantly influenced by an exhibition of photographs by Martin Schoeller, featuring portraits of Holocaust survivors. As a German artist, Tom Bienert feels a profound responsibility to acknowledge and remember the horrors of the Holocaust. This sense of duty led him to create an artwork that delves into the untold stories of the day before the deportation of Jewish people to concentration camps.
This particular piece, crafted from the narration of a Holocaust survivor, embodies Bienert’s commitment to using art as a medium for historical and political commentary. The creative process was emotionally taxing, taking over six months to complete, as he felt the weight of history and a sense of responsibility towards the survivors and victims of the Holocaust. This artwork stands out not only for its aesthetic value but more so for its powerful narrative, embodying Tom’s belief in art as a tool for empathy, reflection, and remembrance. It serves as a poignant reminder of the tragedies of the past and the role of art in preserving and honoring memory.
Tom Bienert: Dreaming of New Frontiers
Tom Bienert’s artistic journey is far from over. He dreams of a project that would mark yet another evolution in his artistic expression – a series of portraits of famous personalities, transformed through his unique abstract style. This envisioned series, titled “JE SUIS SUPERSTAR,” aims to present familiar faces in an unfamiliar light, challenging the viewer’s perception and understanding of these well-known figures. Bienert’s ambition is to photograph icons like Taylor Swift, Daniel Craig, or Barack Obama, and reimagine their images through his abstract lens.
This project idea signifies Bienert’s continuous evolution as an artist and his desire to push the boundaries of his medium. It reflects his willingness to experiment and explore new dimensions in his art, continually seeking ways to blend his photographic skills with digital artistry to create something entirely novel. “JE SUIS SUPERSTAR” represents not just a future project but a metaphor for Bienert’s artistic journey – one that is constantly evolving, always surprising, and forever pushing the limits of creativity.
The story of Tom Bienert is one of relentless pursuit of artistic excellence, a journey marked by constant evolution and a deep commitment to using his art as a means of empathy and social commentary. From his early days under his father’s tutelage to his current status as a renowned artist, Bienert has remained true to his vision, continually pushing the boundaries of his craft. His work, a blend of photography and digital artistry, invites us to see the world through a lens of empathy and understanding, making him not just an artist of his time but a visionary for the ages.