Stephen Robert Koekkoek was an English-born Dutch painter who worked in the post-impressionist style.
Was a member of a family with more than four generations of painters.
his father was the landscape painter Hermanus Koekkoek, and he was also influenced by his uncle, Jan Koekkoek.
But Stephen was the first to leave Europe, aged 21, to Latin America. His journey through Peru, Bolivia, Chile and finally Argentina, spreads the work and legend of a successful artist, in permanent search for a style that dialogues with Turner, Sorolla, Goya and Van Gogh.
In Valparaiso (Chile) he begins to paint, but not what he sees, but what he remembers of his London: views of the Thames and its bridges under the mist, almost monochromatic paintings that show a natural and sharp understanding of value and contrast.
A year, Koekkoek is in Mendoza presenting an exhibition of Andean and Dutch views.
The color and treatment are already post-impressionist, but the load of matter is only beginning to stack on the fabrics: there is a step for Stephen to finish tipping to Van Gogh.
He married at the age of 27 and in 1916, Koekkoek decided to go down to Buenos Aires. He's right around the prestigious Witcomb.
Start gaining fans and castive the name of Esteban Koek Koek.
By 1919 he moved downtown to an atelier on Florida Street. The rhythm was manic and the smaller paintings took fifteen minutes, with an hour as a stop for a larger cloth.
From 1925 he discovered the young Quinquela Martín and passes through facets of homage to Van Gogh, Goya and even Sorolla.
It also starts a mental imbalance.
March 1926, the police arrested him in the midst of a psychotic outbreak. Koekkoek ends up in the Borda neuropsychiatric hospital, then called Mercedes Hospice.
His friends bring him cloths and brushes, bringing Stephen to work.
His doctors end up collecting his works and he sends works to six exhibitions across the country.
What ended up breaking this energy was the crisis of the 30, which slowed the economy and the art market.
Increasingly isolated fron reality or more indifferent, he begins to travel inland and to Chile.
In 1934, at 47 years old, a hotelier from Santiago (Chile) found him dead in his room.
The chilenean president himself orders an investigation and the diagnosis is morphine overdose mixed with alcohol.