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Stefaan De Croock, aka Strook, is a Belgian contemporary artist. He mastered in fine arts at Sint-Lucas in Ghent. In 2011, he became a full-time artist. He has been expanding his boundaries ever since, both literally and figuratively as galleries in Stockholm, Miami, Bangkok, Montreal and Mexico City picked up and lauded his ever more layered and meaningful collages, sculptures, installations and paintings.
The central theme of his oeuvre can be distilled to ‘time’, a given that has always inspired Strook. This is noticeable in his chosen raw work material: ‘old’ wood. He finds it at what he calls ‘non-places’: desolate, eerie locations where humans once intervened but that were left carelessly, recklessly, ruined. Think of a deserted monastery, a perished fishing boat or an abandoned bar. He collects and later uses scrap materials to form his monumental works. In doing so, the artist grants these objects a return to the human timeline and connects their past with a new future, location and purpose.
Stefaan explains his work by saying, “To me, the discarded materials are something magical. They possess a certain spontaneity that’s impossible to recreate. The colors, the paint, the relief… They form an esthetic imprint of everything that ever happened to the materials. You can ‘see’ time. It’s a privilege to be able to use it.”