Robert van de Graaf, visual artist, The Hague, The Netherlands.
Robert van de Graaf is interested in the connection between the mystic of this world, and all its elements (the sea, the sky, nature, fire, light and darkness), and the sense and the dimension of the spiritual world. Myths, mystical places or stories, from history and present days are the source for inspiration for his artworks.
In his recent series of artworks he delves deeply into passages of the bible, combining the inspiration of the passages with the beauty and forces of the elements on earth. He is questioning human destiny and how we can relate to the great mystical and religious texts. How they can provide 'food’ for the soul. The artworks are also about his personal journey to seek meaning in life. He wishes his artworks to be a (re)discovery for himself and the viewer and wishes to encourage deepening. This is his reaction on the superficiality of modern society and the lack of ‘soul food’ for younger generations.
Van de Graaf transforms the inspiration of its themes into symbolic modern interpretations while referring to paintings of the old masters as Rembrandt’s ‘The Storm on the Sea of Galilee’ (1632) and El Greco’s ‘The Vision of Saint John’ (1608-1614).
The paintings balance between figuration and abstraction and allow some freedom of interpretation to the viewer. The starting point for his artworks is his imagination inspired by passages of the stories or places.
Van de Graaf considers his artworks and the process of creating as a (spiritual) journey of freedom, devotion, (inner) peace, inner battles and faith.
Robert van de Graaf (born 30 september, 1983) is a Dutch visual artist living and working in The Hague, The Netherlands. He graduated as an architect from the Technical University in Delft (The Netherlands) in 2009. He started to develop himself as a visual artist from his 13th (1996). Van de Graaf followed an intense private painting and drawing education by the Dutch artist, Erica Meyster, from 1996 till 2001 (from his 13th till his 18th). His inspiration for his artworks continue to come from the same area of interest, he always wanted to be an artist and he always wanted to do it the way he is doing now.
Van de Graaf worked as an intern in architecture in New York City during 2005 - 2006. 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 collectors Melva Bucksbaum and Raymond Learsy), Litchfield County, Connecticut, U.S. He also worked as a visual artist in his New York studio (West Harlem) during that time.
In the year 2011 he stopped working as an architect and is since then working hard on his career as a visual artist.
His work has been purchased by art collectors from The Netherlands, The U.S. and France.