My name is Martijn Smulders, I am the artist and creator of the Stigerwoods concept. In 1998 I graduated from the AKI, Academy of Arts, and then did a Master’s degree in Fine Arts at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam in 1999. Back in those days I struggled to fit the mould of an autonomous artist which led me to follow my own path and, in time, the creation of Stigerwoods in 2013. Stigerwoods showcases the art of everyday things in great detail, captured on original wooden panels. All my work is handmade using photography, recycled wood and epoxy.
Wonder can be found in the ordinary. I am fascinated by the fine details and the patterns of seemingly random objects. Our everyday life has a certain charm and elegance that we often overlook. When you accentuate and blow-up such details you become aware of the hidden richness of colour, composition and patterns. The charm of Stigerwoods is that it transfers a perfect image onto an imperfect surface. By adding a layer of epoxy gloss, ordinary objects transform into works of art.
My work showcases the detail and structure of everyday objects. The make-up of fish skin, the depth and layering of colours in lobsters, and the pure simplicity of vegetables. There is some silliness in the objects that I use in my work: a leek, a fish or carrot. The style I created frames and magnifies the detail of the everyday and gives them a stage to shine.
Years of random incremental choices have shaped my work. By creating space for imperfection, randomness and letting go of the pursuit of flawlessness, I believe that true curiosity can drive great design. The results often surprise people and leave them in awe. The outcomes are not thought-through products, but rather originate from intuitive choices and a deep curiosity for new compositions. They are raw and real products with a focus on the ordinary.
Imperfection is made perfect in my work. The wood I choose shows the raw characteristics of its natural grain. I use recycled wood with traces of previous usage. This all contributes to its new function – a dynamic between new & old that makes for interesting work. Showing imperfections may aesthetically not always be an obvious choice, but the final result exposes natural beauty.
I handcraft all the art in my studio in Amsterdam – this process takes about two to three weeks. After years of trial & error and optimization through persistent dedication, I have perfected the Stigerwoods concept and created a style that speaks for itself. Unfortunately, the world of today is ruled by mass production and the work of copycats. I strongly believe and stand by my choice of original wooden tile panels which ensure unique pieces of art, formed by random perfect imperfections.
The success of Stigerwoods has given me the freedom to explore new creative avenues. Currently, I am expanding my collections by photographing new wondrous everyday objects and organisms from around the world. I am experimenting with wooden panel walls and furniture, in addition to using my signature aesthetic for styling features in magazines and interiors.