Struikelblok George, Visual Artist
George Struikelblok (1973) starts his art studies at the Nola Hatterman Art Academy in Suriname. In 1997 he continues his art education at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica. The two years in Jamaica were critical to the development of his work and after Jamaica his career takes off. He participates in many national and international exhibitions and in 2006 he opens his own studio ‘Atelier Struikelblok’. He was artist in residence at the Duende Art institute in Rotterdam and completes a research project on art in public spaces and land art at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. Three dimensional art is of special interest to George Struikelblok and in recent national art shows he presents large socially motivated multimedia art installations. He has also created several public art installations at different locations throughout Suriname. In march 2016 he launched his foundation G-Art Blok,contemporary art & studios, that includes a large exhibition space and the main goal is to encourage art among youth and art exchange programs with international art organisations and artists.
In the past, before my studies in Jamaica I painted everyday scenes in a mostly realistic style. In Jamaica I was encouraged to find a theme that really speaks to my soul, so I turned to the subject that has influenced my entire life: “LOVE & DEATH”; the death of my father before I was born and the questions, the sadness and emptiness I have always felt because of this. I channeled those emotions through my art. My work became more abstract, emotional and impulsive. At first my paintings were somber and dark, but in the colorful paintings I am currently best known for, a gradual change is taking place. The negative emotions of my fatherless youth are making place for happier ones associated with my own family life and fatherhood. People change, emotions and lives are changed by personal experiences. Having my own family has inspired that change in me and in my work. Missing my own father is still important, but now I primarily express the love and connection I share with my family. Being open to change, embracing the things in life that are most important, now influence the direction of my work.
Impressive paintings of death and love.
In the past years George Struikelblok has managed to become quite well known locally as well as internationally, for his expressive and emotional works of art. This young ambitious artist is also constantly on the lookout for new opportunities to increase his skills and further his career. As a result the last few years have seen a number of memorable milestones for George Struikelblok among which the opening of his own private atelier and gallery, a work/study residency at Duende in Rotterdam and most recently in 2008 a special research residency at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. Here George did a detailed study on another art specialty he is fascinated with: three dimensional art installations in public places and open landscapes. Struikelblok is most popular for the emotional paintings in which he expresses his emotions regarding the death of his father even before his own birth, and the resulting search for a line of communication between life and death. With predominantly abstract figures in striking colors and randomly placed letters from the alphabet, the artist puts to the canvas his emotions with regards to his father, but lately other aspects such as family life (he now has three children of his own) are also of great influence to his art. Although the figures are steadily becoming more abstract, there is a heightened sense of flow and movement in the compositions. The work is more dynamic and seems less focused on the emotions of loneliness and desperation, but more on a sense of togetherness and a joy for life.
Brasa mi (Embrase) 2019
“Mama” was the only name I was calling when I was a little boy.
“Papa” I could not call because he was not around and will never be.
A father was somebody who I never knew.
He passed away before I was born.
“Mama” told me only the little information
she could remember about him and
show me only “one” photograph .................
What he liked and how he died ............................... ￼