BLEEK encompasses a number of photographic series and audio visual works that set out to interrogate the performance of white masculinity from different points of entry.
Strydom sees portraits as sites of entanglement and becoming – more specifically the entanglement of context (social, historical, postcolonial, Africa), the performance of identities (white, postcolonial, male) and networks (artist, model, viewer, artwork).
Masochistic violence and self-interrogation are recurring themes in the body of work. The artist investigates and tries to make visible the ways in which white masculinity is performed. “I don’t strictly envisage or interpret performance in a literal sense of the word only. I am interested in different traditions and contexts that represent specific aspects of rituals of power and how these are performed – this includes sitting for a portrait”, says Strydom.
South African Resistance Art of the late 1980s and early 1990s has had a lasting influence on his oeuvre and art making. Strydom has received a number of awards including an ABSA l’Atelier Merit Award (1997), a Sasol New Signatures Merit Award (1997) and Overall Winner of the Sasol New Signatures Competition in 2008.