On November 2, 2022, an artwork by Merly Trappenberg was stolen. The work was exhibited at the gallery in Sambil shopping mall in Curaçao.
The stolen work is an original painting in mixed media. It is a portrait of an Afro-Caribbean woman wearing a headscarf, done in color. The picture is painted on wood and framed in wood. The title is “Girl”, and the dimensions of the work are 82 cm x 63 cm. The work bears the artist’s signature.
Merly Trappenberg (1955) was born in Venezuela. In her youth, she visited Curaçao frequently and occasionally lived on the island. She calls herself the ‘Venezuelan with continuous homesickness for Curaçao’. In 1993 she decided to settle in Curaçao permanently.
Although, as a teenager, she already knew that she wanted to become an artist, she first complied with her parents’ desire to complete training in civil engineering. However, as soon as she finished her education, she devoted herself more to art. Her work may appear superficial and frivolous, but she fundamentally wants to contribute to the community. By painting the island’s traditions and customs, she wants to praise its values and raise its self-esteem.
Merly Trappenberg’s artistic work has two different styles. She is most famous for the colorful city-scapes filled with people and portraits of self-assured, voluptuous women. Her other style, less known to the public, consists of female nudes executed in warm, earthy hues.
Her drive is to paint Curaçao in all her beauty and diversity: “My inspiration is Curaçao as the center point of all the different cultures taken together. I paint the island’s traditions, the sun, and the happiness. But my paintings also talk about our people’s challenges and difficulties. My art should contribute something to the island and raise the self-esteem of our people. Curaçao may be a popular tourist destination, but at the same time, it is also an uncommon example of how different nationalities and cultures live side by side.” The trained observer may notice that all dark-skinned women in her work have blue or green eyes. Merly uses this feature as a reference to cultural diversity.
In addition to her mixed media work and paintings, Merly Trappenberg also creates ceramic sculptures.
Merly Trappenberg is one of the participants in the Open Atelier Route 2015. She is also planning an exhibition with paintings and ceramics for the coming year. See also: Merly Trappenberg gallery in Sambil 2018.
2014: Written by Victorine Stille. The above text may be reproduced only with reference to the source and author: Curaçao Art®️ www.curacao-art.com. Image rights of the artworks remain the property of the artist.