Gilleam Trapenberg at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam
In a recent exhibition titled “Frieda Hunziker: A Flight to Curaçao,” The Stedelijk Museum Schiedam masterfully unfolded the story of contemporary art in Curaçao. While initially centered on the works of Dutch artist Frieda Hunziker, the exhibition seamlessly transitioned into a broader narrative that unveiled the island’s vibrant artistic spirit through the lens of modern creators.
Stedelijk Museum Schiedam features Gilleam Trapenberg‘s work, and his presence in the exhibition symbolizes the essential role played by modern artists in providing fresh insights into Curaçao’s cultural landscape. Trapenberg’s artworks acted as dynamic windows into the multifaceted dimensions of the island.
In the exhibition, Gilleam Trapenberg and his fellow contemporary artists added layers of depth and relevance, bridging the gap between the historical journey of Frieda Hunziker and the contemporary vibrancy of Curaçao’s artistic community. Their creations illuminated the evolution of artistic expression on the island, demonstrating how artists continue to draw inspiration from Curaçao’s unique blend of culture and landscape.
Gilleam Trapenberg’s work, along with that of his contemporaries, served as a modern-day symphony that harmonized the island’s artistic past with its ever-evolving present. Their art enriched our understanding of Curaçao as an enduring source of creative inspiration, transcending time and cultural boundaries.See more
ABOUT Gilleam Trapenberg
Born in 1991 in Willemstad, Curaçao
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Born and raised in Curaçao, visual artist Gilleam Trapenberg (b. 1991) now lives and works in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Orbiting his homeland, his creative projects look closely at the fabric of Curaçao’s social landscape, probing at the island’s many paradoxes. He searches beneath the portrayals and tropes of Caribbean life that dominate (Western) media cycles, using the camera to create necessary counter-images.
Occasionally, though, Trapenberg is himself seduced by the allure of the exported picture- postcard; on European shores, nostalgia and longing take hold, perspectives drift, and memories of home are easily romanticised. For the artist, this experience of a perpetual limbo between two distinct places – connected by the fraught legacies of colonialism, enduring flows of goods and people, or even the mass tourism industry – is a growing focal point of his work.
A graduate of The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art, Trapenberg first moved to the Netherlands at 19 years old. In the years since, his works have been exhibited at institutions such as Foam Photography Museum and Stedelik Museum Amsterdam, whilst his first photobook – Big Papi – was published in 2017. He was the 2020 recipient of Foam’s Florentine Riem Vis grant and is one of five shortlisted artists for the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023. The shortlisted works will soon be exhibited at London’s National Portrait Gallery.