LIVES AND WORKS
LIVES AND WORKS
DATE OF BIRTH
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 the Hamilton Heights (143rd Street, between Broadway and Riverside Drive), New York City, where he worked on his oil 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 watercolors.
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. 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.
WHO I AM
Searching meaning in life through my art, my wife, love and personal growth. Enjoys life.
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