De Rooy has long been a pioneer in addressing issues that would later become mainstream, such as the ongoing legacy of colonialism and the meaning of Afro-Caribbean and queer identities in art. The exhibition title refers to the symbolic end of the world and the promise of a new dawn, a recurring theme in the artist’s work. De Rooy studied painting and graphic design at the Vrije Academie Psychopolis in The Hague (1969–1973) and film directing at New York University (1980– 1982). Raised in Curaçao, Suriname and Mexico, he has lived in Amsterdam since 1982. His artistic oeuvre comprises paintings, works on paper, assemblages, tangible and digital collages, and tapestries. He is also a theater and film director, as well as a curator and collector.
De Rooy’s work is shown alongside that of other artists from his collection and that of the Stedelijk. Taken as a whole, De Rooy’s life’s work constitutes a poetic and critical review of global art (history). Specifically, the art and history of colonized people. At the same time, it addresses universal themes such as the human condition, history, sexuality, and religion. De Rooy employs symbols, traditions, and stories from a variety of cultural sources, which he combines to create new images.