Thorsten Brinkmann is an artist with an urge to seek the hidden potential in his compositions and a determination to go beyond preconceptions. In a room full of obsolete objects, which he uses to create his mysterious characters, the ‘Portraits of a Serial Collector’ series takes an artistic approach to up-cycling.

Questions lie at the beginning of every story. The inability to establish eye contact with the characters in Brinkmann’s portraits might initially lead you to think that they are avoiding communication – yet, it would be a mistake to think of them as feeble mutes. The extent of this creative tension is a reminder of possibly the most important question behind any artistic endeavour: ‘What is your problem – what do you feel compelled to talk about?’


This is an artist who is an all-in-one puppeteer, medieval photographer and scrap dealer. For Portraits of a Serial Collector, Brinkmann sees himself as a performance artist, costume designer, dramaturge, director and cameraman. Brinkmann studied visual communication at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and continued his training at the Hamburg University of Fine Arts, where he was a student of the photo-based art- ist Bernhard Blume and sculptor Franz Erhard Walther. The influence of both teachers has transpired through sarcastic activism and the mocking of the traditional art establishment. Brinkmann has been featured in group shows at institutions across Europe and the US, including the Hamburger Kunsthalle and the Andy Warhol Museum. His works have been featured in exhibitions, such as the 2009 Triennial of Photography at the New York International Center of Photography and Video, and the 2014 Mediations Biennale at the National Museum in Poznań.