Gerhard Brandes was an institution of German sculpture for decades. After graduating in 1950 under Gerhard Marcks, among others, he started working as a freelance sculptor. From 1976 he also worked as a lecturer at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung in Hamburg.
His sculptures in bronze, copper, or concrete, some of which are monumental, can still be found today at numerous schools, churches, and other buildings, as well as in public squares. Brandes has created over 40 sculptures only for the city of Hamburg.