Hendrik Mueller wants to express the beauty of the automotive without showing all of it. Find out why less is more and how a cup of coffee landed on a Ferrari Dino!
Hendrik, I am calling you in your studio, what are you working on?
I am doing a commission for a young man right now. His grandfather owned a Ferrari 212 in the fifities and I’m painting that car with his grandfather behind the wheel. I have to work of some old black and white photos which makes it a difficult task.
When you are not doing a commission, how do you pick freestyle work?
Well when I see a car that I really like, I make sure I take a lot of photographs and get all the details and pick out a certain angle. Most times I see the idea already in my mind of how to paint that car.
I usually take only a small part of the car and paint that. The rest of the car is already on your brain.
For the Alfa you painted the back side of the car.
Yes, the front is so different from the back side, which is so wonderful. By focusing on only a part of the car, I want to express the beauty of the whole car without showing everything. This is enough.
Like what you did with the E-type…
Yes, it’s enough.
What do you want to express in your paintings Hendrik?
It’s a kind of love of this car. A tribute to the car. I start with a sketch of the car. New cars are easier to paint because they don’t have so many details. They have a clean surface while older cars have more details on the outside. I want the full focus to be on the car itself. So I decide what to focus on, so I don’t give people a chance to focus on something else.
You did something similar with the Volkswagen Beetle.
Yes, the colours of that car and the shape are not so interesting. I therefore added the lady and the shadow of the trees. The car is not complete, the lady is not complete which makes you become a part of the painting. Your mind has to come up with the rest.
Humour is important to you. You like a good laugh and I noticed that you painted this cup of coffee on the expensive Ferrari Dino.
You are right, some people replied “it’s not allowed to put a cup of coffee on this car”. But that is why I did it. Well, actually I did not, I only painted it. You see, I had painted the car but something was missing to excite it and I decided to add the coffee.
Another example is the big steam train.
Yes, that has the title “the best way to empty a toothpaste tube”. When men look at this painting, they start discussing the technical details. But mostly women and children see the tube.
What does studio look like?
Well I am very lucky to have this large studio It's 200 square meters and it's where I also keep my 1932 Renault. I just enjoy being here on my own, working on my paintings while listening to some good Jazz music.
I’m here all day, go home to have dinner with my lovely girlfriend and then I go back for some more painting. Sometimes until 10 p.m.
What can we expect from you?
I have many ideas and sketches for paintings and I enjoy painting every day, so you will see much more work of me hopefully.
For more of Hendrik Muellers work, please go to his website