bio

Stefaan De Croock (1982) alias 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.
“To me, the discarded materials are something magical. They possess a certain spontaneity that’s impossible to recreate. The colours, 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.”
With this weathered wood, the artist constructs his famous ‘scrap wood faces’. Scarred fragments of old doors, patinated wooden floors, split or disintegrated garage doors become faceless, nameless silhouettes. Only expression remains. Powerful at first sight but astonishing when you understand the extra dimension the history of the wood adds.
“I combine wood from places like the Imperial Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland with wood from a bar in Kortrijk and the medieval Saint Baafs Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. Every piece tells a unique story but all those stories form one human silhouette. It’s a metaphor as we are all an entity made up of different stories that shape us to who we are. That’s why I never alter the materials I find. In real life, people try to hide their scars but I can see the beauty in them. They are part of everyone’s unique story of becoming human.”

Upcoming
Group show ‘A Butterfly’s Scream’ – PAK – Psyciatrisch Centrum Sint-Amandus – Beernem – Belgium
Exhibition ‘It’s only a matter of time’ – Musea Brugge – Bruges – Belgium – more info
Group show ‘The New Portrait’ – størpunkt gallery for contemporary art – Munich – Germany

2020
Installation ‘Portrait of a human being’ – OMG! Van Eyck was here – Ghent – Belgium – more info

2019
Solo Exhibition ‘One More Day’ – Transfo – Zwevegem – Belgium – more info
Kunstenfestival Watou 2019 – Watou – Belgium
Group show ‘Nie wiem’ – d’Oede Schole – Damme – Belgium
Group show ‘Chambres Separees’ – PAK, platform voor actuele kunsten – Gistel – Belgium
Solo Exhibition ‘Untold’ – JLS Gallery – Mexico City – Mexico
Art Wynwood Fair – Robert Fontaine Gallery – Miami, FL – USA
Palm Beach Modern & Contemporary Art Fair – Robert Fontaine Gallery – Palm Beach, FL – USA

2018
Art Miami – Robert Fontaine Gallery – Miami, FL – USA
Installation ‘Obrońca’ at the Imperial Shipyard – Gdańsk – Poland – more info
Group show – JLS Gallery – Mexico City – Mexico
Group show ‘Contemporary Transformations’ – Duke Contemporary Art Space – Bangkok – Thailand
Palm Beach Modern & Contemporary Art Fair – Robert Fontaine Gallery – Palm Beach, FL – USA

2017
Art Miami – Robert Fontaine Gallery – Miami, FL – USA
Annual winter group show – Galleri Christoffer Egelund – Copenhagen – Denmark
Solo Exhibition ‘Out of Sight’ – Ghent – Belgium – more info
Group show ‘There are no limits’ – Curated by Thinkspace at No Limit Boras – Borås – Sweden
Group show ‘Summertime ’17’ – Galleri Christoffer Egelund – Copenhagen – Denmark
Artfair Mural Festival – Montreal – Canada
Group show ‘Anamorphic Portraiture’ – Mirus Gallery – San Francisco, CA – USA
Group show ‘LAX/DTW: Detroit Hustle II’ – Curated by Thinkspace at Inner State Gallery – Detroit, MI – USA
Mural for The Crystal Ship – Ostend – Belgium

2016
Exhibition upcoming artists – The Flanders Informal Summit – Bijloke – Ghent – Belgium
Exhibition (with Stien Bekaert) – ARTBEAT Ghent Festival 2016 – Eskimo Factory – Ghent – Belgium
Group Exhibition – ‘Remix’ – Galerie C.O.A – Montreal – Canada
Installation – Art Truc Troc – Bozar – Brussels – Belgium

2015
Solo Exhibition – Budafabriek at Buda Arts Center – Kortrijk – Belgium – more info here
Exhibition curated by Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens – Huis Van Wassenhove – Sint-Martens-Latem – Belgium
Selected for the Christie’s and paddle 8 auction at Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens – Deurle – Belgium
Digital artwork – Vooruit Arts Center – Ghent – Belgium
Atelier Bonk – pop-up expo ‘Rue de Flandre’ – Paris – France
Mural and Expo Mechelen Muurt – Mechelen – Belgium – more info here
Exhibition ‘Merkemveld’ – private viewing – Bruges – Belgium – more info here

2014
Exhibition ‘RASTERS’ – Die Keure – Bruges – Belgium – more info here
Exhibition Summer Josephine’s – Antwerp – Belgium
Belgian Pavilion MIPIM – Cannes – France
Mural ‘Wood & Paint’ – London Calling – Bruges – Belgium – more info here
Mural – Vooruit & Voka – Ghent – Belgium

2013
Exhibition ‘Ontmaskerd’ – Het Schepenhuys – Oedelem – Belgium – more info here
Life Performance Salone Del Mobile – Atelier Bonk – Milan – Italy
Life Performance ITB Berlin – Visit Flanders – Berlin – Germany
Exhibition Kapow Collective – Warmond – The Netherlands
Mural and Expo – Day One Street Art Festival – Luchtbal – Antwerp – Belgium – more info here
Mural – HANSEstreetartWORKS – MARTa Museum – Herford – Germany

2012
Co-founder – Designlabel Atelier Bonk (www.atelierbonk.be)
Exhibition De Invasie in residence, Metropolis  – Concertgebouw Brugge – Bruges – Belgium – more info here
First prize Urban Crafts Award
Selected online auction – Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens – Deurle – Belgium
Exhibition ‘The Wall’ – Strook & Stijn Bastianen – Entrepot – Bruges – Belgium
Exhibition ’60 years O’neill’ – Santa Cruz – United States
Exhibition Kapow Collective – Blankenberge – Belgium
Exhibition ‘Strook’ – Theo Gallery – Antwerp – Belgium
Life Performance Kask- De Invasie van Gent – Ghent – Belgium

2011
Reverse Art installation – Stuk art center – Leuven – Belgium – more info here
Exhibition ‘The ART Lounge’ – International Airport Ostend-Bruges – Ostend – Belgium
Life Performance C-mine –  De Invasie – Genk – Belgium
Life Performance Belgium Bookfair – Lannoo – Antwerp – Belgium

2010
Exhibition ‘Strook’ – CC Scharpoord – Knokke-Heist – Belgium