09 July 2022
Art
A method to the madness with Lenny Stöpp

Let’s start with Stöpp. From inventing his own denim concoction to pushing materials to their limits. The artist describes the methodical process- reminiscent of a science experiment- behind his creation for The Art of RAW. And it seems there’s a method to the madness, after all.

Featured Artist
Lenny Stöpp

You describe yourself as a multi-disciplinary artist, what’s your process with the different materials you work with?

“I really like when a material is alienated in a way, that’s not immediately like ceramic, denim or wood. But that you really need to use your imagination – What am I looking at? What texture does it have? How does it taste? How does it smell? – I really like to think of the mind of the observer or user.”

Different grades of denim fibers
Different grades of denim fibers

Quiet and considered, Lenny takes his time to detail his artistic life so far. Art, it seems, was a natural career path. He was born and raised in the Netherlands, by his mother, a graphic designer and father, a practical hands-on technician, combining the two approaches within his work. From an early age Lenny knew he wanted to explore different creative avenues, focusing on practical learnings such as drawing, woodwork and sewing throughout his studies. This kickstarted his in-depth exploration of materials and processes.

Exhibiting at multiple shows since the opening up from the global pandemic, he has received credible recognition across Europe. With an upcoming exhibition in Napoli on the horizon, it seems the attentive artist may gain even more popularity in the art world, one country at a time.

“I’m always really easily fascinated with different materials. I like to focus on something for a while and then when I have that technique, I explore other things.”

- Lenny Stöpp -

You’ve had a substantial amount of success at such a young age, how has that been?

“It’s funny how quickly things accelerated when corona subsided. Exactly one year ago, I exhibited at the design fair in Rotterdam Object and it went really well. I had a few calls from magazines who wanted to write an article and sold some work. I also got an offer for the exhibition opportunity in Italy. Of course, you guys [G-Star] contacted me too and that was a big surprise.”

The pulp machine used to break down the fibre.

With a distinct attention to detail, Lenny reiterates his methodical approach to the project which resulted in inventing a new material through his own creative recipe, using apparatus, ingredients and lots of experimentation. Starting with denim waste, he added it to an industrial pulp machine, before mixing in corn starch and water. It resulted in a new, fluffier composition which could be pressed into moulds before drying into shape and producing the final outcome - ‘Fluff Stacks’.

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

What was your creative thought process behind ‘Fluff Stacks’?“

I always look at the material, what the properties are and how it wants to behave. I was making this new material with the denim pulp and noticed that it was very strong, I wanted to see how much it could take. Of course, then I thought, what’s the best way to push it to the limits - make a furniture set. You know, three different archetypes – a side table, a stool and a lamp.”

After putting his work under the microscope, it’s clear his fulfillment comes from detailed exploration of materials. With a strong intention to continue educating himself in new processes and techniques, it’s obvious there is a lot more to come from the artist.

Finished furniture series ‘Fluff Stacks’

Without attempting to predict the future, where do you see yourself in the next few years?

“Hmmm, my further away plan? Probably move abroad to somewhere like Denmark or Sweden. I’ve always been so charmed by the places, the people and how they combine traditional design with an experimental twist to make it more contemporary than it is. In the in-between time I’m really motivated to get into artist residencies and go to a really remote off-grid place, really be in that environment and only work with the materials they have there.”

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