Work in Progress Series ‘The Alchemy of Dreams’

May 2022 – In Progress

Series ‘Stories of Transition’

October 2020 – April 2022

The Mystery of the Soul

2019 / Oil on linen / 140 x 400 x 2,5 cm (Diptych)

The Walk of Life

2019 – 2020 / Oil on linen / 140 x 140 x 4,5 cm

Inner Space of the Soul

2019 – 2020 / Oil on linen / 180 x 180 x 4,5 cm

The Battle Between Good and Evil

2017 – 2018 / Oil on linen / 140 x 200 x 2,5 cm

Artist Statement

Robert van de Graaf (1983, born in The Hague, the Netherlands) is interested in the connection and relation between the mystical in this world, in all its manifestations (the sea, the sky, nature, human built environments, light and darkness), and the sense and the dimension of the spiritual world.

Van de Graaf draws his inspiration from myths, mystical places or stories (both from history and present times) and the philosophy of life. His artworks give substance to his ongoing journey to seek meaning in life.

Van de Graaf questions human destiny and how we as human beings can develop ourselves and grow on a spiritual level. He wishes his artworks to provide ‘food’ for the soul, both for himself and the viewer. His artworks should be a (re)discovery for himself and the viewer and he wishes to stimulate a personal deepening. They are his reaction to the superficiality of modern society and the lack of ‘soul food’ for the younger generations.

Van de Graaf transforms the inspiration he draws from these themes into contemporary (symbolic) interpretations while richly referring to artists through all times of art history such as Caspar David Friedrich, Anselm Kiefer, Joan Mitchell and Rembrandt. The paintings move between figuration and abstraction, giving the viewer certain freedom of interpretation. At the same time the intensity of the paintings act like a gaze back at the viewer, a reflection of thoughts, crossing the line from observation to introspection and self-examination.

He has been professionally trained in painting and drawing from the age of 13 to 18 by the Dutch artist Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006), before studying Architecture at the Technical University in Delft (MSc 2009). The area of interest that inspired him in the works he made during his youth has remained a source of inspiration in his current work. The moment he began to work with oil paint he fell in love with the medium and this continues to grow ever since. 

Van de Graaf experiences the process of creating as inner battles, freedom and faith.

Robert van de Graaf