At the beginning of the 1980s, Stephan Balkenhol began his sculptural career in Hamburg as a student of Ulrich Rückriem. Since then he has been creating his typical figurative wood sculptures, carved and chiseled from huge logs which are then painted. Balkenhol values wood as a material, which he has always used, because of its properties: "Each material specifies a certain speed with which it can be worked on: Clay can go very fast, stone is hard and takes a lot of time. Wood is in between and corresponds exactly to my personal temperament". (Stephan Balkenhol: Holz entspricht meinem Temperament, in: Glasner, Barbara/Ott, Stephan: Wonder Wood: Holz in Design, Architektur und Kunst, Basel 2012, p.35.) Contrary to an aesthetic ideal that has determined sculpture since antiquity, the figures of the Hessian artist have nothing traditionally beautiful about them. They do not proclaim perfection, but are rather a demolition of society - a blank projection screen on which one complements oneself and which is able to make conscious what the sculpture itself is denied: to be alive.