Super A - Untitled gallery piece (detail)- Image courtesy of 1AM Gallery in San Francisco

Super A /   Stefan Thelen

Netherlands 1981

Street Art, Installation, Sculpture, Painting

Super A
Stefan Thelen
July 26, 2017
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Stefan Thelen, better known by his moniker Super A, is a Dutch street and gallery artist who blends urban methods, graphic design and traditional painting techniques to give life to work that evolves out of his personal experiences and thoughts. His pictorial stories seem to exist in a balance between fiction and non-fiction as Thelen’s topics are a result of his amazement with rarities in our world, filtered through the view of the mysterious Super A.

Super A - Wolf / Rabbit
Super A – Wolf / Rabbit

The Story of Super A

The story of how Super A came to be is a rather interesting one – Super A is in fact perceived by his author as an anti superhero kind of character. As Thelen explains it himself, he needed someone that can get away with the things he himself was not able to. He also channeled strong feelings of confusion into his new alter ego as at the time Stefan was experiencing a lot of stuff that didn’t feel right to him after he graduated from the Graphic Lyceum in Rotterdam. Initially, Super A started to appear sporadically in Thelen’s paintings and drawings, but the anti superhero’s visions and thoughts soon managed to emancipate themselves from their host. Soon, Super A began to deal with the city’s underbelly sensation and the visualization of the self-side of society in a way Stefan Thelen was never able nor allowed to. As explained by the artist himself, these images can be seen as the melancholic, cynical little brothers of common picture postcards.

Super A - Key
Super A – Key

Stefan Thelen’s Position in the Dutch Art Scene

Soon after he started to express himself via street techniques, Stefan Super A Thelen became known for his extraordinary realistic images of a dreamy and surreal atmosphere that feature highly metaphoric narratives with fantasy figures, strong social messages and harsh critiques of world politics, often spiced with a splash of profound humor. He also became noticed for his creative versatility. Make no mistake, he truly proved himself a multidisciplinary artist – in addition to paintings and murals, Super A also created engaging sculptures and installations. In 2012, a Dutch broadcasting company AVRO organized a public voting in which one of Super A’s supreme murals was elected as the best street art piece in the Netherlands by the majority of public votes. Stefan was no stranger to collaborations and working alongside other urban colleagues as well.

Stefan Thelen’s artistic alter ego Super A allows the Dutch artist to unleash and channel all his inner feelings in a fashion otherwise unavailable to him

Super A - Collin Portrait / Kilroy
Super A – Collin Portrait / Kilroy

A Transition to Galleries

Maybe the greatest asset Super A showed us beside his obvious creativity is the author’s ability to adapt to the needs of the gallery world, so much different from the circumstances of the street in which Stefan honed his skill. His powerful and intriguing oil paintings, sculptures and installations managed to maintain Thelen’s visual urban characteristics and, as a result of such a transition, Stefan’s work has been included in various art collections and has been exhibited internationally at renowned galleries and art fairs such as Art Amsterdam and Fair21.

This artist is represented by 1AM Gallery in San Francisco.

Stefan Super A Thelen lives and works in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Featured image: Super A – Untitled gallery piece (detail)- Image courtesy of 1AM Gallery in San Francisco
All images courtesy of 1AM Gallery in San Francisco.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group 
2014KunstRaiSt. Art Gallery, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2014Layered BehaviourPartisan, Soest, GermanyGroup
2014Raw Art FairSt. Art Gallery, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2014Affordable Art Fair BrusselsSt. Art Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumGroup
2013Blooom Art FairA4LW, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2013ThreeDQE, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2013Alles Goes!Van Berkel Art, The NetherlandsGroup
2013Realisme Art FairGallery Majke Husstege – Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2013Three  Ehrenfeld’s DQEGroup
2012Wallstreet 25Vlissingen, The NetherlandsGroup
2012UntitledWillem3, Vlissingen, The NetherlandsSolo
2012BackspaceGallery Majke Husstege, Den Bosch, The NetherlandsGroup
2011City of dreams 2Deventer, The NetherlandsGroup
2011HumansterWillem3, Vlissingen, The NetherlandsGroup
2011InterlandC-Mine, Genk, BelgiumGroup
2011Tiny VicesAlley Gallery, Hasselt, BelgiumGroup
2011InstallationOnderstroom, Vlissingen, The NetherlandsGroup
2011Hidden BeautyEindhoven, The NetherlandsGroup
2010It’s a strange world after allOpperclaes, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2010It’s a strange world after allNIU: Espai Artisti, Barcelona, SpainGroup
2010Art AmsterdamSt. Art Gallery, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2010Sculpture RizeSalon Versailles, Paris, FranceGroup
2010Gouden BergenStreetlab, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2009Gouden BergenDek22, Rotterdam, The NetherlandGroup
2009HypermarketGo Gallery – Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2009Affordable Art Fair St. Art Gallery – Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2009Prints and the RevolutionAmsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2008Prints and the RevolutionAmsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2008InstallationNamesfest, Prague, Czech RepublicGroup
2008Group ShowSubwalk, Arnhem, The NetherlandsGroup
2007No7Roodkapje, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2007And you are? Señor Hernandez, Nijmegen, The NetherlandsGroup
2006AliasBomhuis, Breda, The NetherlandsGroup
2006CollabseZware plaatwerkerij – Vlissingen, The NetherlandsGroup
2006My streets my cityChiellerie – Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2006Dutch MastersGemeente Museum – The Hague, The NetherlandsGroup
2006Redbull ArtbeatClub 11 – Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup