Cowboy Henk, oil on canvas
Herr Seele (Peter Heirseele, °1959) studied at the Ghent Academy of Fine Arts in Belgium, studied painting in Florence, Italy in the late 70s and learned to tune and repair pianos in South Wales, England. He lives in Oostende, Belgium and works as a piano tuner, runs a piano business and restores instruments. Since 1981, he also illustrates the tragicomic adventures of the indestructible, optimistic Cowboy Henk. Cowboy Henk's solid performance in the Humo, a Belgian magazine, became a success story in 1983 and allowed Seele to illustrate for the magazine on a weekly basis. Cowboy Henk's adventures were not only published in Belgium and the Netherlands, but also in Germany and France. This surreal comic strip had acquired a global presence.
Cowboy Henk is a flamboyant god with a distinguishable blond hairstyle. This significantly oversized guy clad in jeans is known for his unending big heart, helpful nature and confused mind. He is simultaneously one of Flanders' most controversial and beloved cartoon characters.
Cowboy Henk is a meditation on Surrealism and Dadaism, a mix of timelessness and timeliness. Cowboy Henk's figure flows deliberately from Herr Seele's pen. Together with Kamagurka (Luc Zeebroek), they develop the scenarios.
In the exhibition Among the people, the Belgian comic strip history is brought to life by showing original, hand-drawn comic strips, paintings and different, funny Cowboy Henk attributes and gadgets. Herr Seele also offers a look at aspects from his personal world. His passion for painting and his paintings themselves have never been presented to the public in this manner before.