Steef Crombach was born in Maastricht in the South of the Netherlands. Crombach earned her B.F.A from the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague in 2014. Her work 'Piet' was nominated by the Dutch King Willem-Alexander for the Royal Painters Price, she curated and designed the massive floating exhibition 'Dirty Daisies' during Art The Hague and she was the recipient of the renowned 'Contribution young talent' grant from the Mondriaan Fund in the Netherlands. With the help of these funds, she was able to research and invest in the Austin art scene which led her to organize and curate the nine-artist exhibition 'Expedition Batikback' at Co-Lab Projects. Since that time she has been visiting the United States for extended periods of time to curate, teach, exhibit, and research. In March 2018 Crombach officially relocated to Austin, she was the first recipient of Big Medium's Line Residency and continues to show her collection of ‘manifestations with cultural and local significance’ on International platforms, often in the form of patterns.
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Although my work radiates a resolute materiality in a firm shape, my approach to the world is poetic and speculative. I question the status of objects and situations. In my work I deal with concrete manifestations by adding an almost identical second layer to them. In this way I attempt to unscrew the anchor points in our perception.
The constant attempt to grasp my environment, and the time in which I live, forms the basis of my research. Seats in public transport have such gravitating patterns, and why are road stripes yellow? I collect these patterns, objects, colloquialisms, and cultural beacons, and I try to save them in my own, and others’ memory, by copying, morphing, and merging them in my work. This is our environment. This is what it looks like.
By showing my collection of ‘manifestations with cultural and local significance’, often in the form of patterns, I feel like I could enable people to see what invisibly shapes their direct environment and the way they are steered and positioned within it. With this, I hope to offer a more relative perspective upon our present time, and the aspects that might be part of our collective memory when we look back.
Recently my work has become much more personal. Realizing that my view on my environment as an expat differs greatly from natives around me. Whatever seems culturally and locally significant to me might be a result of my outsider view? It is a confusing and unearthing feeling that has manifested itself slowly into my work.