Self-taught artist Claudia Hek, age 35, has been a house hold name in the underground rock ‘n roll and tattoo scene for close to a decade now. Known for her thick lines and sassy pin-ups, Claudia is famous for her poster, sticker and t-shirt designs for bands, clothing labels and burlesque starlets the world over.
Raised by a beachcomber on the rustic Dutch island of Terschelling, Claudia realised at an early age that she didn’t quite fit in with the small island community. Feeling locked in, she dropped out of school, packed her things and moved to the big city: Amsterdam. It was here that she was first introduced to the rock ‘n roll lifestyle. Working in bars and playing the drums in a number of local garage and country bands, Claudia created her own band posters, quickly growing a reputation for creating original pop art inspired posters for concerts in the underground scene.
But her success and popularity haven’t meant that she’s has been taking it easy. Claudia has gone through quite a transformation in the past couple of years. Seeking to develop herself further, scratching away at the surface to get to what really matters, the Dutch artist has gone from strength to strength, both in her personal life, as well as in her art.
Still inspired by Americana, tattoo and rock ‘n roll culture, Claudia has ditched her graphic style for a more layered approach, both literally and figuratively. Where previously her work consisted of lovely ladies inspired by the pin-ups of the 50s and 60s, Claudia’s new work is inspired by a new found inner strength. Cute sassy pin-ups have made way for heartbroken but strong powerful women, totemistic animals and rock ‘n roll icons. Thick lines and computer editing have been replaced by layers of paint and ritualistic objects, like the series of crucifixes Claudia has been painting and decorating over the past year and the tarot deck she dreams of one day making a reality.
There are still a number of things Claudia would like to achieve career wise. Though she is no firm believer in chasing after dreams, she does believe it is important to have dreams, set your goals accordingly and allow for life to align and be aware of the opportunities that arise to make those dreams a reality. Much like this book you are holding in your hands right now, Claudia believes the things she still wants to make and do will enter her path soon enough. “I’ve always felt a strong connection to the US, so I’d really like to see what my possibilities are to set something up Stateside.” Claudia already keeps her own chicken on a friend’s ranch in Arizona, and hopes to add a horse to her name on her next visit.
Korte bio Nederlands:
“Claudia Hek (37) is een autodidact kunstenares uit Amsterdam. Haar werk is doorspekt met Americana en symboliek uit de rock ‘n roll en tattoo-wereld. Het werk van Claudia heeft in de laatste jaren een enorme doorontwikkeling gemaakt, van de dikbelijnde pin-ups waar ze beroemd mee is geworden, tot schilderijen en objecten die een verhaal vertellen over het vinden van kracht in kwetsbaarheid; van totemistische crucifixen, tot portretten van Amerikaanse rock ‘n roll iconen zoals Johnny Cash, en sterke vrouwen met magische krachten en gebroken harten”