CLAUDIE DECLEEN

PEOPLE


I’ve known her work for quite a while now and I have always been triggered by all the quirky opinions, images and drawings that have been popping up everywhere and nowhere. Nowadays there’s quite a few drawing artists, only few however actually make the difference, Claudie certainly is one of them.

Her home/atelier looks as if a bomb exploded, paper, faxes, samples, cd’s, photographs, pencils, sketches, and what not all over the place. She is preparing for an exposition at ‘The Bakery’ from gallery Annet Gelink, which explains part of the chaos. By now everything is tidy again she has reassured me.

Claudie started at the Rietveld academy here in Amsterdam, from her 17th until her 22nd she studied graphic design. After this she was accepted at the Jan van Eyck academy in Maastricht, here she struggled to overcome all the influences of her former Rietveld teachers to become her real self. Finally she did one year of the Amsterdam art directors course ‘Hallo’, which she completed successfully.

After an internship at KesselsKramer she decided art direction was not ideal for her. Claudie didn’t like advertising because of the strictly defined concepts, the client conflicts and stupid products. But mostly she just wants to make things herself. To create she loves to collaborate with others, to find obscure photography (like her useful photography book project), to exchange, to make collages and so on. Claudie wants to be ‘hands on’ when making her creations, to be in control of the output. Big ideas often portrayed in small intimate ways.

Don’t be misled by this sweet girl though, seemingly innocent, drawing nice colorful situations with her pencils. Her mind seems to go into different thinking modes when creating, from chaos to order, tough to soft, intimate to extravert, attentive to distractive, self assured to insecure. Resulting in fascinating thoughts, ideas, then drawings. Sometimes grim and dark and then suddenly sweet and soft again, but always with razor sharp comments.

Her work these days can be found in numerous forms and publications, t-shirts from Japanese label Coigirl, her own self published ‘Bloos’ books, tv guide covers, columns and so on. Claudie seems omnipresent yet elusive…
Make sure to check out her latest project ‘fun yeahyeah’ which was created in collaboration with Anthony Burrill a.k.a. Bless the Artist by exchanging drawings and images over the internet.

Part of this piece was based on an article which appeared in Amsterdam’s newspaper ‘Het Parool’. Should you wish to contact Claudie please send her a mail at claudiedecleen@hotmail.com

Text: Bastiaan Rijkers from Lemon Scented Tea

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