About

Artist Statement

Robert van de Graaf (1983, born in The Hague, The Netherlands) is interested in the connection 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 referring to paintings of the old masters such as Rembrandt’s ‘The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’ (1632) and El Greco’s ‘The Vision of Saint John’ (1608-1614). The paintings move between figuration and abstraction, giving the viewer certain freedom of interpretation. He likes the painting gestures / marks to symbolise the link between heaven and earth. 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.

Biography

Robert van de Graaf (born 30 september, 1983) is a Dutch visual artist living and working in The Hague, The Netherlands. He concentrated on developing himself as a visual artist from 13 years old. Van de Graaf followed an intense private painting and drawing training from 1996 to 2001 (until his 18th) with the Dutch artist Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006). His inspiration for his artworks continue to come from the same area of interest he had in his youth, he always wanted to be an artist.

After his training as a visual artist, Van de Graaf received a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Architecture (Technical University Delft) in 2009. In 2005 and 2006, he worked as an intern in architecture in New York City. At Steven Learner Studio (founder of ‘Collective Design Fair’, New York City) he worked on art-related projects as the ‘Haunch of Venison’ gallery (Rockefeller Center) and ‘The Granary’ (private gallery for the Bucksbaum family), Connecticut, U.S.  At the same time he had his studio in West Harlem, New York, where he worked on his paintings.

Van de Graaf stopped working as an architect in 2011 to devote himself entirely to his career as a visual artist. He has since produced several theme-based series of artworks, especially oil paintings. Art Collectors from the U.S., The Netherlands and France have purchased his paintings, drawings and watercolours.

Robert van de Graaf

Resume

2015  – current

Working as a visual artist, The Hague, The Netherlands

2011  – 2015

Working as a visual artist, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2010 –  2011

Working at two Dutch architectural firms

August 2006 – September 2007

Internships in Architecture, New York City, New York.

– Steven Learner Studio (Steven Learner, founder of ‘Collective Design Fair’, New York City, New York), worked on ‘the Granary’ (private gallery for the collectors M. Bucksbaum and R. Learsy), Litchfield County, Connecticut and ‘Haunch of Venison’ gallery, New York City, New York

– Rietveld Architects, New York City, New York

Working as a visual artist, New York City, New York. Studio apartment was situated in the Hamilton Heights (143rd Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive)

1996  – 2001

Private education in painting and drawing by the Dutch Artist, Erica Meyster (1949 – 2006).

30th September 1983

Born in The Hague, The Netherlands

Extensive resume on request

Exhibitions

2021    3  – 24 October

London Paint Club, ‘Contemporary Narratives’, Group-exhibition, online viewing room, www.londonpaintclub.com

2021    1 April – 1 June

Contemporary Art Station, ‘VRAF 2021 | Virtual Art Fair’, virtual exhibition, presenting paintings of  the series ‘Silence and The City’

2021    1 February – 1 June   

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine,  ‘Infinite Dreams’, virtual exhibition, www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com

2020    29 August – 19 September

Studio Exhibition, presentation of the new series ‘Silence and The City’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2020    3 August – 1 December

Contemporary Art Curator Magazine, ‘New Horizons’, virtual exhibition, www.contemporaryartcuratormagazine.com

2019    December

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘Saint John’s Cave of Light’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2019

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2019    11 – 14 April

Paris ART FAIR 2019, Paris, France

2019    15 January – 15 March

EUROPOL HEADQUARTERS, ‘Dutch Art Exhibition’ (group exhibition), The Hague, The Netherlands. Opening on 15th of January / Opened by Wil van Gemert, Deputy Executive Director of Europol and Saskia Bruines, Deputy Mayor of The Hague.

2018

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2018    December

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘Visions of St. John The Divine’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2018    5 – 9 December

Circle Foundation, ‘Red Dot Miami’, Miami, US

2018    May

Studio Exhibition, presenting the series ‘St. John’s Heavens and Stars’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2017    29 October – 5 November

Studio Exhibition, ‘Art & Wine opening new studio’, presenting the series ‘The Bible and the Sea’, The Hague, The Netherlands

2017

Private Studio Exhibitions, for art collectors, The Hague, The Netherlands

2015    07 – 15 November

Classic Event 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), Kortrijk, Belgium

2015    12  – 14 June

Art Laren 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), Laren, The Netherlands

2015    19 – 27 April

Art & Antiques Fair ‘s-Hertogenbosch 2015 (New Place Art Gallery), ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2015    01 – 30 April

New Place Art Gallery, Solo-exhibition, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2015

Fransastic, ‘art, bees and urbanhny’, Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2014    September

Annual Dutch Art Fair, Solo-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2012

Kruithuis, Group-exhibition, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

2009    Autumn

Chiellerie, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2009    August

Studio Graduation Exhibition, ‘Arts and Architecture Amsterdam’ (Deymanstraat), The Netherlands

2009    Spring

Chiellerie, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2007    October

Ververs Gallery, Group-exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2007    May

Studio Exhibition, ‘Harlem Soirée, 3 Artists’, New York City, USA. 143rd Street, 619, New York, New York (with Gabriel Serpa and Jordi Matas)

2001    17 February – 17 April

Fonteinkerk, ‘Recent Paintings and Drawings’, Voorburg, The Netherlands

Publications

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INTERVIEW, ‘COLLECTOR'S VISION INTERNATIONAL ART AWARD’, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine
COLLECTOR BOOK | NEW PERSPECTIVES, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

April 2020

Collector Book | New Perspectives / Hard cover and soft cover
Sold at various bookstores and distributed to gallery owners, museum directors and collectors

Link to the book

New-Perspectives-Book_Hardback 1 New-Perspectives-Book_Hardback 2

PUBLICATION ARTWORK, Vind Magazine nr. 31

September 2018 

Magazine hardcopy

Publication Vind Magazine

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Publication Artworks on website, Circle Foundation for the Arts

Spring  2018  

PUBLICATION ARTWORK, Announcement Exhibition Artfair ADAF, Online Galerij

July  2014 

Online announcement art fair on website

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Contemporary Art Curator Magazine - Interview
PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Website by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine

March 2019

Publication of a selection of artworks on the artist page, www.contemporaryartcurator.com/robert-van-de-graaf/

Publication Artworks website

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Spotlight 9 Magazine, Circle Foundation for the Arts

July 2018  

Magazine Hardcopy and online

Link to the online version

Publication Artworks_Spotlight 9 Magazine

PUBLICATION ARTWORKS, Publication Artworks in Magazine, Kunstoase

Summer edition 2014  

Magazine in hardcopy

Publication Artworks in Magazine_Kunstoase

 

Awards

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'Collector's vision International Art Award', by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine
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'Artist of the Future' Award’, by Contemporary Art Curator Magazine