By Khadijah Yasin
World-renowned artist Anouk Kruithof came to the College on Wednesday, Sept. 21, to talk about her artwork for the Visiting Artist Lecture. At first look, Kruithof — a petite blonde with youthful features — seemed almost too young to be so accomplished. Originally from the Netherlands, the Dutch artist is soon to be based out of Mexico City, but currently works in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at extraordinary art museums around the globe, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Moscow’s Multimedia Art Museum and Amsterdam’s the Stedelijk Museum, among many others exhibits.
Alongside the numerous exhibitions in which Kruithof’s art has been displayed, she has also published many collections of artwork, which have been included at a multitude of public collections from New York to the Netherlands. Daunting, beautiful, completely whimsical — Kruithof’s artwork covers all spectrums of moods and genres.
“I feel quite liberating in the ideas of transferring my ideas into art,” Kruithof said. The artist explained in further detail how different aspects and events in her life affect the art she creates. She uses everything and anything to add the depth she desired in her works.
“I kind of worked with everything I found there,” she said. “I was building temporary installations and I invited everyone in the building, even people I didn’t know, to react to what I build.”
Kruithof captured this kind of genuinity and raw emotion by taking candid photos of people looking at her art, which she has added into her collections as another aspect of the art.
In Kruithof’s pieces, every detail was strategically planned and thought out before her final presentation, even as miniscule a detail as whether the collection’s book should be bound or loose.
“I decided to not bind it, so the book was on the verge of falling apart, just like the time,” Kruithof said about her work “Playing Borders This Contemporary State of Mind.”
Every facet of Kruithof’s work has meaning, whether it be blatantly obvious or interlaced throughout the pages, which not many artists can accomplish.
Kruithof always takes it a step further with her art by featuring places with a history and an intriguing background, as well as seeking out people who have experienced that sort of feeling she aims to depict in her art.
Specifically, this was seen in her one project “Blackout.” Kruithof began by alternating pitch black images with other grimm, black-and-white images of a dark room, black sink and other inanimate objects.
The artist then transitioned the images to people dressed in black in a dark room. Each person has a compelling history of depression and have all experienced the darkness of being alone and feeling empty. Kruithof wanted to delve into that raw emotion — that emptiness and blackness — so she made the artwork that much greater when she added that layer of meaning represented by the person in her pictures.
As Kruithof herself put it, her artwork is meant to be “very mysterious and very seductive.” Each piece has a different characteristic about it, and there’s a fascinating story within each one’s framework. Kruithof is a force to be reckoned with in the art world, as her work is truly one of a kind.