A STATUE OF A WOMAN
‘Living without passion is unforgivable’
Visual artist Robbert Strüwer paints the eternally feminine. In a tough, masculine way. His passion for depicting female beauty drips from the canvases. Distinctive is his paint treatment. Distinctive is his wife treatment.
Strüwer paints nudes and near nudes. Always young and vital. He himself is a late bloomer who develops at lightning speed. Initially, the applied arts beckoned. Reason why he chose fashion and advertising drawing at art school. Given his eye for elegant anatomical proportions, he is still reaping the benefits. However, fashion design and drawing on commission did not give him satisfaction for long. His wife cast herself as his muse and set him on the trail of free painting in 2005. Like everything else, Strüwer tackled this professionally and took painting lessons with Bosnian artist Ivan Mijatovic for some time. What is special about Robert Strüwer’s visual writing, is the fusion of drawing skill and painting. Moreover, the constant search for unusual materials and paints echoes drive. Using grids, mesh, corrugated cardboard, cement and layers of paint, he creates an engaging painterly background for his images of women. Their contours and curves he models with paint strands and rollers squeezed straight from the tube. Experimenting with boat varnish, tile glue and car paints, he finally adds colors. In the process, beautiful craquelures and other coincidences appear. The thinner the varnishes, the more exciting the progression of the stains on the canvas.
A woman’s imagination not only gives rise to trying paint and other materials. Strüwer searches just as tirelessly for original body positions. His “early” paintings, executed in a colorful palette, already stood out as a result. The new canvases are more austere. Fashionable accessories and distracting brighteners are gone. Subdued gray tones against which flashy accents stand out now define the picture. Expressing passion through bright colors and fierce paint strokes is something more artists can do. When this is done through misty grays, quality looms. Then you experience the expressiveness with which women get body. Sometimes in such a penetrating perspective, it creates the illusion of a third dimension. Thus he embodies his ´image of a woman´ more and more interestingly.
Female forms have traditionally been a favorite painterly motif. The manner of portrayal is in keeping with the spirit of the times. The Strüwer women are totally contemporary. Tall in stature and broad-shouldered. Self-confident, active yet sensual, they please both the male and female gaze. That Robbert Strüwer signs with solid box lettering is no coincidence. Thus he leaves his personal mark on the representation of women in art history.