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Vonn Stropp

Vonn Stropp is one of 123 pseudonyms used by a reclusive man born in Stanwell, England, in 1962. The son of an alcoholic, schizophrenic Irishman and an English mother, he describes his childhood as "being grey, overcast, an eternal hangover." Vonn Stropp's parents were ill-equipped financially and emotionally to create a nurturing environment for their four sons and daughter, so Vonn Stropp 'brought himself up' and taught himself to draw and paint. At the age of eleven, he began having ecstatic, visionary experiences. Vonn Stropp left school at sixteen, and after various menial or labouring jobs, he began to paint obsessively. He claims that the entire experience of painting is immensely painful, likening the artistic process to being "crucified," but that he has no choice. Occasionally, he says, he experiences "vistas of calm sunshine in the room I am working—a golden light." These circumstances do not, however, reflect his rather dark, claustrophobic bed-sit in Hounslow.

Vonn Stropp's work is represented in many museum collections world-wide, these include The Collection de l'Art Brut and the Bethlem Royal, where his drawings are being displayed alongside those of Richard Dadd.

Musicians Michael Stipe and Jimmy Page are also ardent collectors of this extraordinary artist's work.