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Thomas Dekker is a Dutch artist who lives and works in ‘s Hertogenbosch. He graduated from St. Joost School of Art & Design 2 years ago. During his student days, influenced by his passion for drawing, architecture and art, he started to develop his personal style, inspired by the works of painters such as Agnes Martin, Giorgio de Chirico and Edward Hopper, and architects like Rem Koolhaas, Walter Gropius and Adolf Loos. It was outside of school, however, in his own art studio, where he found the space to start developing his personal visual style. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic and Spatial Design, Thomas started his own studio, named Studio Dekkert, and he continues to create new work for different exhibitions and projects. Thomas Dekker: “I’m searching for space in emptiness. I strive to fulfill the emptiness inside of me by creating new visual worlds on canvas, using color, shapes and composition. This is the core of what I do as a visual artist. I have always had a great interest in art and culture, as I’ve been brought up around it. Since graduating in 2020, I’ve dedicated all my time and energy to build my own studio and personal style. In my studio I work day and night to widen my perspective and deepen my knowledge of the subjects I strive to understand and reflect in my work. My drive to make art and express myself in a visual manner has its foundation in great personal loss that I went through. In the year 2016 I lost my mother, and half a year later, my grandfather as well. Both were of great influence on me, and as I was 18 years old at the time, I had to find a way to deal with this loss. Every day I still feel the emptiness of their absence inside of me, and it never seems to get any easier. Because of this it is very important for me to keep addressing this personal loss, but it took years for me to find the right way to do so. Painting became a great coping mechanism for me. A way to visualise a world in which I am completely comfortable, without the pain, emptiness and sadness of living with my loss. In my work I strive to visualise ‘windows’. My windows accomplish a view into another world. This world consists of several basic elements: color, shape, line, and composition. This, and nothing else, is what my works are built out of, how I strive to perceive total freedom of experience. In emptiness, there is endless space. And space consists of emptiness. These two elements go hand in hand. With this in mind, painting by painting, I start building my own worlds. One is inspired directly by, for example, Bauhaus architecture, while another is made purely from imagination. A freedom is found in this use of space through emptiness. A freedom to be who I want to be, to express what I want to address and to experience what I want to show. But not only is this a new-found freedom for me as an artist, the viewer also enjoys an undirected world in which they can interpret the work all in their own way. Size, depth and space become relative, free to be interpreted and experienced by everyone. Utilizing a minimalist art style, I want to direct the viewer to the world inside my paintings. The biggest diversion from the minimalistic world will always be the eye of the beholder, because it is completely open for personal interpretation. All the elements used to comprise the painting are, in the end, inferior to the experience of the final image. I exclusively work with acrylic paint on canvas and wooden panels. I choose to use acrylic paint because it dries quickly, and its color remains consistent in quality. After mixing the right, mostly monochrome, color palette, I draw my compositions out on the canvas and determine my light sources and perspective. The use of monochrome colors restricts the amount of distraction from the other elements. After that, I paint my work, square by square, until the composition is complete. Finally, I work traditionally, because it shows my strive for perfection. Only then you can start to fully appreciate the method of painting, where total perfection is almost unreachable. My work suggests a perfect world, created out of imperfect means, but is free to experience as complete as you like.”