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Interview with the artist

Martin Baum, Managing Director of Pantaenius Group, wanted a Super Yacht campaign that was very different from anything else ever done before in the field. Hamburg artist Hinnerk Bodendieck created a total of 12 works of art especially for the yacht insurance specialists.

Mr. Bodendieck, do you see yourself as an artist?

Bodendieck: I would rather describe myself as a painter and illustrator. Whether what I create can be called art, I leave others to decide.

How did you get this attitude?

Bodendieck: Very simple: I decided to study at the College of Design in Hamburg – today the University of Applied Science, where illustrators and advertisers come from; not at the rival college of fine arts. I found the attitude and work of an artist dogmatic and dependent on fashion and religious beliefs. Maybe as an “artist” I would have not been able to express my love for painting and graphic design of past centuries: However they are, including paying tribute to most admired painters, an important part of my work, for this campaign too. For me it’s all about freedom, passion and authenticity. I just want to do, what I want to do.

Is it true that you once worked as a graphic designer? 

Bodendieck: Yes, indeed. This is why the methods of commercial work are well known to me. That was how I financed my studies and my first boat. It became clear very quickly that this was not where my professional future lay, because of the lack of freedom.

Are you really free in your work then, when it is to be used for commercial purposes, for example like the Pantaenius campaign?

Bodendieck: My goal is artistic experimentation on a theme. Presenting the result to the public  is part of my job. When this fits the needs of a company who I have felt personally close to for many years, I think that is good. If it were criticized, it would not bother me. To be honest, my pictures can be seen in magazines all over the world. You don’t have to go running to an exhibition or into a museum. That is fantastic. Anyway, I was very free in my design for the Pantaenius campaign otherwise I would not have done it. It was  one of the conditions of working together.

Mr. Baum, you gave Hinnerk Bodendieck almost unlimited freedom in the new Pantaenius Super Yacht campaign. Why do you have so much trust in him?

 That is true, but I have known Hinnerk for many years and value his work greatly. I know that he has a strong character and that he needs his freedom. I had my own idea for this Super Yacht campaign, but Hinnerk immediately said, we do it my way or not at all.

And was it difficult for you to accept this decision? 

Baum: No, I have no problems with people who make clear statements. I think I am a team player, who can accept the opinions of others. Hinnerk’s ideas and visions just bubbled out of him. He really got my interest and convinced me immediately.

Bodendieck: That was not meant negatively. I know that I can only create the necessary enthusiasm and passion when I am 100% behind a project.