Berend Strik: Deciphering the Artist’s Mind
Dutch artist Berend Strik explores the relationship between the creative space and aesthetic concepts, as seen through the studios of international contemporary artists. His project began at the Manhattan studio of Marcel Duchamp, an architectural space whose use has changed over time but where memories still linger. Over the years this first visit was followed by many others, including the studios of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, of John Baldessari, Martha Rosler and Henry Taylor, the performative space of Melati Suryodarmo and the conceptual spaces of James Lee Byars. Strik photographs these places, enlarges the results and prints them before he starts to work on their surfaces by stitching, adding coloured and tactile fabric to highlight those portions of the images that are important to him. He appropriates the subject matter from the artist, transforms its reality. Through his layering he adds information, gives the subject his personal interpretation and makes the work his own. His questions revolve around the myth of the studio, the historically privileged space of artistic creativity and the impossible promise of a view into the artist’s mind.