Portrait of myself

Elly Strik


Painting, 300 x 205 cm.
Materials: paper, oil, lacquer

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7036_M195B).

The Dutch artist Elly Strik maks big, impressive drawings – often two by three metres – in charcoal, graphite, chalk, ink, pastels, oils and enamel paint. In this way her work is an exceptional addition to a tradition of portraiture in which monumentality of scale is usually set opposite the portrait genre’s claims to intimacy. The large self-portraits from 1998 portray the artist shortly after she moved to Brussels, and they immediately exude a grey, surrealistic atmosphere (as a sort of homage?); in one of these portraits a colourless orchid hides the artist’s face, in another she holds out a huge white egg in front of her, again making herself unrecognisable.

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