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Born and based in Sydney Australia, Dirk Kruithof studied a Fine Arts Diploma at Meadowbank and Kogarah Tafe, 1999 - 2001 Majoring in Painting.

Feeding into his art are his recurring obsessions, revolving around pop culture, language and information, with imagery sourced from the urban environment, the words signs and symbols, beauty and decay of city life.

His work can be described as a kind of hectic and colourful 'Pop Expressionism' often incorporating elements of text or graffiti like marks. He has sold his challenging and thought-provoking work worldwide and has a strong commitment to working with recycled materials.

Dirk has been exhibiting regularly since 2005.

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Self Q-Rated' 

  Dirk Kruithof's latest exhibition 

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Dirk Kruithof-032_edited.jpg

Previous show - 'Lock'd'

Inner city artist, street-comber flaneur and lover of grit’n’grime, Dirk Kruithof is back at Chrissie Cotter with a new show called LOCK’D. And it is new - made almost entirely in a burst of COVID lockdown fever from March 2021 onwards.


I watched on Instagram daily as these pieces would go from a screwed-together ‘canvas’ of found bed slats, to a pink surface, to a lurid depiction of miasmic signs and figures, to a masterpiece of punk’n’roll energy. (More than once I caught myself laughing out loud at the audacity and slapstick humour of the concluding visual punchline). And it is not only recycled wooden surfaces. Kruithof applies his acrylics, markers, oilsticks and spraypaints - among other media, including wry and itchy collage - to anything that is not nailed down (and a few that are). Street signs, cardboard, old records and cassettes, a hubcap and magnetic audio tape, there’s even a couple of paintings on canvas.   


The street-worn surfaces, with their hints of original advertising or instructional typography, or commercial images and signs, lend a Pop Art loutishness to the pieces. Which is perfect for a section of the show that Kruithof refers to as the ‘Smoking Props’ series. Here he has taken pop culture icons of rock, punk and jazz and line-drawn them in oilstick, smoking away with cigarettes as prop (as was ‘cool’, somewhat socially acceptable and everywhere on album covers and promo fotos of the time). Mingus, Lou Reed, Nina Hagen, Beefheart, Blondie, Zappa, Grace Jones and others appear with text and recontextual juxtapositions. The paintings are loosely based on old photos but Kruithof’s brash handling of the oilstick (a fave of Basquiat) lends them an immediacy and a vibrancy that jumps at you.  


LOCK’D also touches on favourite Kruithof themes of inner city living and its stresses and strains, the humanity that pisses and grafittis on the inhumane walls, the humour that can be found among the fag-ends and real estate bastardry - and there is a wealth of humour here: take the time to read the texts he scribbles, scratches and even elegantly letters over many of his works. Yes, some bitterness here and there, but overwritten with sardonic, witty and often downright hilarious jokes. 


Here and there we can see he has been checking out Locust Jones, Rad Dan, Anthony Bartok, and Gareth Samson; the perennial faves, such as the ubiquitous Basquiat (everyone tries but no one's work quite looks like his!), Chris Wool and Adam Cullen are never far away. But Kruithof is a worker, so through pure hours-put-in, he has evolved his own distinctive voice. Never one of the inspiration brigade, waiting and waiting for the Muse, he gets right down to it and puts in a full day at his art. The prolific pile that LOCK’D has been selected from is quite something and he has selected the best for you. 

John Hardaker, 2022. 

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