Hein Dingemans

Hein Dingemans (1962)

Hein is fascinated by tribal peoples from Nigeria, South Sudan, Tutsis from Rwanda, Polynesians from the Marquesas Islands and especially Aborigines, the original inhabitants of Australia. “The 9th Arunta Aboriginal, not only muscular, but also very, very strong”, can be read under one of Hein’s drawings. And that’s what his native tribes look like: in impressive bodybuilding poses they proudly display their excessive muscle bundles over which the swollen veins run finger-thick. Their extremely large member proudly peaks at the peak of its potency. Sometimes a Yin Yang ball or die pops out. “This is to add a little humor to sex.”

Hein made his first bodybuilders when he was thirteen, inspired by hunks in comic strips such as Suske en Wiske, Asterix and Tarzan. When the school lessons were boring, he would draw so-called ‘little one or two minute figures’ of a couple of centimetres in his diary. In the course of weeks, months and years, they grew in size and detail: the wild frizzy hair became finer, the chest broader, the waist smaller and the muscles more substantial. In his homework about the European seas, Hein drew an Aboriginal figure skating; his right leg, high in the air, pointed to the Caspian Sea.
In Hein’s early work, the large phalluses are not so prominently in view. Initially they were hidden behind tough heavy metal guitars, which appear to be as much a symbol of male potency as the current ‘ricos’ (as Hein calls them) are. These have developed into an extreme size and reach well above navel height, because they have been ‘inviagrated by an overdose of Viagra pills’.

Usually Hein provides his work with long titles in which the name and surname of the folk and tribe are mentioned. As a joke, now and then he gives the name of a band or a friend to the painting. Sometimes Hein also names his figures after himself. ‘That is perhaps what I would like to look like, but then to a lesser degree.’ Hein says he draws his potential alter egos as a form of sexual release. ‘Because of a light form of handicap it’s difficult for me to get a girl: making contact’s a problem, a sort of shyness. I draw as an outlet for my sexual needs.’

A second way in which Hein releases tension is by means of the weather. A fanatic amateur meteorologist, he closely follows the weather reports on the radio and conducts his own forecasts on the balcony. He becomes very excited in storms and thundery shows. ‘The whole lot fascinates me: the atmosphere, the beautiful skies, the bolts of lighting, the noise.’ He makes recordings with a MD recorder, and listens to them on his walkman. ‘I love thunder. The release of a thunderstorm makes me restful’. In Hein’s recent work, weather plays an increasingly frequent role. Sometimes it is in the background in the form of a mass of clouds, sometimes as a central image such as in a painting about the eclipse and his etchings of tournedos.

Recently, Hein has made many water colours of Polynesians. In a traditional manner he decorates these people with tattoos. In Hein’s work these islanders are covered with blue ink from top to toe. Various tattoos are also displayed on Hein’s body. Several years ago he had a large Montezuma-like image tattooed on his back and on the inside of his lower arm there is a Maori of his own design.

In some water colours Hein writes his erotic fantasies in comic strip balloons. A Polynesian who is deeply in love thus thinks: ‘You just wait, me you have soon in my arms and legs, me you pregnant make, me very much sperm for you have. You right size Margarita have for my enormous Rico. Me too very big large muscles and me incredibly strong and lean and quick and brave am.’ To which, in turn, the beautiful blond thinks: ‘Oh Jesus, that very heavily muscled well-endowed Samurai-like fully tattooed Melanesian native has been posing there a long time. Bundles of muscles are rippling and now he is masturbating. I think he is very handsome and impressive and I do believe he is head over heels in love with me!’


1998  Solo exhibition in @Gallery Wares for Art, New York, USA

1999  “Les Indiens”, Musée d’Art Différencié, Liège, Belgium

2000  Solo exhibition Gallery Project Abillity, Glasgow, Scotland

2000  Museum Kyosei No Sato, Amagi-city, Japan

2000  MAD-Attack, Musée d’Art Différencié, Liège, Belgium

2002  “Out of Senses”, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

2002  “Welcome de Stadshof”, Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent, Belgium

2003  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA

2003  Exhibition and symposium Gent, Belgium

2004  Art Institute, Chicago, USA

2005  Solo exhibition Gaia Museum, Randers, Denmark

2005  The Great Hall Gallery in New York, USA

2005  “De Vlaamse Reus”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2005  Pure Vision Arts, New York, USA

2006  “Beasts”, New York, USA

2006  Jubilee exhibition 15 years Herenplaats, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2007  “The world of Herenplaats, Streetart meets Herenplaats”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2007  Project Ability, Glasgow, Scotland

2007  “No Name”, Galerie Alte Turnhalle, Bad Durkheim, Germany

2007  “INTUIT Show”, Chicago, USA

2007  “Heroes of Herenplaats”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2007  “No Name”, Galerie Alte Turnhalle, Bad Durkheim, Germany

2008  “Bezet”, project Budafabriek in Kortrijk, Belgium

2009  GAIA museum, Randers, Denmark; “Kiss and fly – The art of sex, love and eroticism”

2009  “Gek op tekenen”, (grazy at drawing), Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2009  “Outsider Art”, Gallery De Compagnie, Dordrecht

2009  “I am I”, Outsider Art, Glazen Huis, Amsterdam

2010  “Outsider Art Fair”, New York, USA

2010  “Outsider Art Salon”, Gallery Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2011  Outsider Art Exhibition, Wijk bij Duurstede

2012  Art Brut Biënnale, Hengelo

2013  “Borelo-Lifemap”, Artium, Fuhuoka, Japan

2013  GROOS, Schieblock, Schiekade, Rotterdam

2013  La Brut, Rotterdam

2018 Outsider Art Fair, Paris

2018 ‘Keiharde Kunst’ , Galerie Herenplaats, Rotterdam

2018 Art Brut Biënnale, Hengelo

2018 “Oeil-art”, France

2019 ‘Outsider Art Fair’, Paris


Outsider Art Museum, Amsterdam

Max. E. Ammann Collection, Switzerland



2001  Madness, Rotterdam

2002  “Folly Drawings”, history of the outsider art by Frits Gronert

2006  article in magazine Out of Art, May 2006