'The Great Farewell'

Gwen Stok is a Rotterdam-based Dutch visual artist and illustrator. She makes oil paintings, ink drawings and murals, both in commission and on a personal base. Her hallucinatory visualizations have appeared in magazines like Zone 5300 and Schokkend Nieuws, while her art also served to adapt the Toon Tellegen animal stories 'Een Verre Reis' (2017) and 'De Genezing van de Krekel' (2019) into an interactive picture book and graphic novel.

Education & work
Stok was born in 1983 in Rotterdam, where she studied at the Willem de Kooning Art Academy from 2000 to 2005. After she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts, she became an independent artist on both commercial and personal art projects. She makes editorial illustrations in several techniques and styles, and has provided cultural periodicals like Schokkend Nieuws and Oh Marie! with cover illustrations. Comic stories by Gwen Stok have appeared in magazines like Zone 5300 and Kutlul.

With her inventive imagery, Stok aims to provide "philosophical observations of the human identity with a clear fascination for when the psyche fails us as a single being or as a group". Several of her comics play with loops and repetition, such as the 'Broken Record' series. Stok made a comic strip based on the song 'The Great Farewell' for the companion book of singer/songwriter Mark Lotterman's 'Holland' album (2017). She was also one of the artists adapting a song from Wende Snijders' 'MENS' album into a comic for the 2018 Cross Comix festival. For the same festival Stok participated in the Nietzsche-based feminist exposition 'Stripped!', curated by Merel Barends. Since 2014 she has been working with Bruno Xavier da Silva on murals and joint exhibitions under the moniker of "Trompette de la Mort". Between 2015 and 2018 the artist also had a partnership with Marcel Ruijters, with whom she made a series of large ink drawings under the "Juhla" banner.

Toon Tellegen
Notable projects were her interpretations of the philosophical animal stories by Dutch children's novelist Toon Tellegen, which both came to life with a government grant. She served as initiator, illustrator and character designer for an interactive picture book based on Tellegen's story 'Een Verre Reis' ('A Distant Journey', 2017), about an elephant who goes to the desert. The app was made available through iTunes and Google Play, and received several awards. Later on, Stok made a graphic novel adaptation of Tellegen's 'De Genezing van de Krekel' ("The Healing of the Cricket", 2019), about a cricket who suffers from depression, which other animals try to solve in vain. Stok's version of the story was released by Querido in March 2019.

www.gwenst.com

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