Stephan Balkenhol (born February 10, 1957, Fritzlar, Germany) is a contemporary German artist known for his painted statues of the human form.
The artist's totem like sculptures of everyday people, are reminiscent of both folk art as well as medieval sculpture. The artist uses a variety of woods, including poplar and Douglas fir, and crafting each work from single blocks using hammers, power saws, and chisels.
'Figurative sculpture is often misused as a bearer of messages,' Balkenhol reflected. 'In my vision my sculptures become a question, a mirror. And it is the viewer who fills it with meaning.'
Born on February 10, 1957 in Fritzlar, Germany, Balkenhol attended the Hamburg School of Fine Arts from 1976 to 1982, where he was taught by Nam June Paik and Sigmar Polke. In a response to the abstract and conceptual practices that he was introduced to, the artist decided to concentrate on the figure a quotidian, 'everyday' persona, instead of an idol.
Balkenhol's works are held in the collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Hamburger Banhof in Berlin, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.
Balkenhol currently lives and works between Meisenthal, France, and Karlsruhe, Germany.