Chris Vanhee CRILO

Chris Vanhee CRILO

ZULTE, Flanders, Belgium

About Chris Vanhee CRILO

Bio - Portfolio - Vision

CRILO is the name of this artist (° Waregem (Belgium), 1966).

He is the creator of the so-called ‘rocrilo’, a small handmade stone, composed of earth, water and other natural materials, then colored and in the end petrified, as if it were a rock. Hence the name ‘rocrilo’, a contraction of ‘rock’ and ‘CRILO’.
With his small stones CRILO transforms various feelings and themes into colorful works of art. From a spontaneous interplay between emotion, creativity, talent and craftsmanship, layered creations arise, which one cannot find anywhere else in the world.

CRILO also imagines and creates art projects with LEDs.

Still, all his works are part of a Limited Edition.

Artist by creativity …

For 15 years now CRILO has been creatively active, quirkily and innovatively busy. He has developed numerous products that do not exist anywhere else, and he has patents on them worldwide.
Yet CRILO has been active as an artist more or less anonymously. That lee allowed him to develop his own, unique art form, with which he gradually wants to come out more. All this time he has consciously chosen not to exhibit through galleries, events,….

However, he has already been asked several times by renowned galleries to work exclusively for them, with the promise that his works would be exhibited a few weeks later in New York, Saint Petersburg, Doha, ... and would be sold at prices up to five times higher. But, beyond a certain renown, he prefers to keep some kind of artistic freedom. Otherwise he would not have been able to sell through this current channel, for example.
In the first instance every buyer of his work will always buy because he finds the work beautiful and suitable for himself.

That is why CRILO has already been able to deliver many diverse works on all continents, even to sheikhs (UAE) and to the entourages of world leaders. Therefore his works can hardly be called country or culture bound.
These great creative experiences, combined with helping well-known artists through the years, have made it worth his while.


… and by nature

CRILO genuinely spends a lot of time and energy on all of his works.
But years of thinking and inventing require peace of mind, in order to empty one’s head. Working with your hands in Mother Earth proves to be the ideal source of relief - the natural elements are the raw material of CRILO's creative art. ‘Earth’ is the soul of his work, his first matter, earth that transforms into hard, colored small stones, into a petrified still life.
It makes the artist intensely happy and zen, creating art with natural raw material, if possible even outside, in nature itself, at one with the seasons. And within that biotope always sustainable, in dealing with the elements, environmentally friendly and with respect for nature.

Do not just say stones to the rocrilo’s

Characteristic of CRILO's designs are color, patterns and ‘the story behind’ the art object.
Each color used for the making/finishing of rocrilo’s links to a snapshot. A moment full of pure feeling, a melancholic mood, the memory of a lived through experience, or, somewhere, a visionary insight.
The story of and surrounding that one moment, enriched by the artist's emotional empathy, interweaves itself into a pattern in which each rocrilo find its place.
CRILO’s art is kind of storytelling with stones.
Inspired by the natural light in his 120 m² art studio, CRILO’s works are given an authentic and natural form, at the same time becoming timeless and trendy.


As early as 2014, the first rocrilo works were conceived and manufactured, and the concept, development and production are continuously being adjusted. Until each work is finished, and - within that specific art object - each of the hundreds of stones still tells its own story.

In the past two years, CRILO has, in this way, built up an oeuvre of more than twenty of these ‘stones’ works of art. Several of which bear the influence of COVID-19 on the artist, such as ‘Labyrinth’, ‘Black Cross’ and ‘Chart’.
In ‘Labyrinth’, for example, one can lose oneself in the hopelessness and the lack of perspective in these times of corona, but one also finds in it the awareness that there is a way out somewhere, that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.


From that one idea to the unique work of art
Because CRILO's works of art are ‘on the way’. After the first sketch on paper follows an impulsive search for suitable materials, the trajectory from concept and design, the process towards interpretation and meaningfulness, up to the physically tangible end result.

For example, specific materials were sought to give the originally handmade stones that rough, uneven surface, a spectrum of colors - in all shades and hues - was gathered, and machines were conceived and made by hand. All this to process the stones to their correct shape and size. Or to give them cachet, with an accidental sharpening move, a curious corner, that weird edge.
And, last but not least, to embed that personal, albeit inconspicuous, but immediately recognizable CRI-LO signature in each work.
It is in that recognisability of a work of art by CRILO that lies the uniqueness, that ‘only one’. Precisely because you won't find art like this anywhere. And because this art form, as soon as you see it, feels so familiar, immediately as the work of…, yes… CRILO.
In this way, CRILO has developed, over the years, a unique branding in this distinct art form. The artist draws on his own emotion and experience, discovers innovative techniques and visions, makes adjustments and pushes boundaries.
The rocrilo’s exhale the artist's symbiosis with his work, through various dimensions of his artistic craftsmanship.


CRILO "sees the light" with his LED art.
You too?
In the 1990s CRILO meets a world-renowned personality in the field of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) technology. A close friendship grows between the two. The many stories of this VIP fascinate CRILO and in the continuous evolution of LED he discovers numerous opportunities. CRILO ‘sees the light’, from his intuition and creativity. He has also developed four 'funny Crilo art lights', just one of those many ideas that are still awaiting implementation.

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