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TOYISM ART MOVEMENT

Just like the Cobra movement formed at the end of the 1940s, the toyism art movement seeks to plug into the experiences of children, while indirectly also appealing to all adults.  A new type of artist surfaced during the nineties of the past century. Artists were expected not only to exploit artistic talents but also to act as entrepreneurs.

Toyism was introduced by the artist Dejo, originally from the Netherlands. He quickly grasped that the best guarantee for successful artistry consisted of a combination of those two elements. In the past, an artist primarily achieved results with materials science, artisanal skills, knowledge of art history, an original style, approach, and visual language. Today, the success factor is also determined by competencies that are difficult to measure, such as organisational talent, commercial insight, inventing effective business structures, the ability to assess the value of one’s own attitude and to achieve a good return on that attitude, and to have the courage to continually begin new projects  without knowing their outcome.

Artists are confronted with coincidences and uncertainties on a daily basis. They do not need analytical models, market research or statistics in order to function properly. Nevertheless, they must in fact acquire the mentality of an entrepreneur. This seems to be an impossible balancing act. Yet, with toyism, the toyists prove that it is possible. A manifest is an excellent tool for ensuring that everyone is focused on the same direction. It eliminates the need for difficult discussions and pernicious differences of opinion. Nonetheless, toyism encompasses without a doubt the cultural background and contribution of each individual artist. This causes the style to steadily evolve and grow.

Today the movement consists of 18 artists. Their pseudonyms begin with a letter they selected from the alphabet. None of the pseudonyms can share the same letter, unless a toyist has left the group and the letter has become available. This limits the number of toyists to 26. The once-only use of the 26 letters is also a nod to the number 13 (26 = 2 x 13), which possesses a specific significance within the movement. The toyists, consisting of men as well as women, originate from all over the world: USA, Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, Australia, Romania, Iceland, and the Netherlands.

Author: Wim van der Beek

The number 26
  • THE-DOT-Live-with-Energy
  • THE-MASKED-TOYISTS
  • ROQ-FIHI
  • UPPSPRETTA-ICELAND
  • GRONINGEN-ART
  • ARTIST-AT-WORK
  • DANCE-OF-LOVE
  • BEING-A-COLLECTIVE
  • “ There is no difference for me between a drawing I do in the subway and a piece to be sold for thousands of dollars. There are obvious differences in context and medium, but the intention remains the same. ”

    Keith Haring

  • THE-DOT-Live-with-Energy
  • THE-MASKED-TOYISTS
  • ROQ-FIHI
  • UPPSPRETTA-ICELAND
  • GRONINGEN-ART
  • ARTIST-AT-WORK
  • DANCE-OF-LOVE
  • BEING-A-COLLECTIVE
  • “ There is no difference for me between a drawing I do in the subway and a piece to be sold for thousands of dollars. There are obvious differences in context and medium, but the intention remains the same. ”

    Keith Haring

TOYISM PHILOSOPHY

Toyism is a contemporary art movement that originated in the 1990s in Emmen, The Netherlands. The word symbolises the playful character of the artworks and the philosophy behind it. The suffix ‘ism’ refers to motion or movements that exist in both the world of art and religion. Nevertheless, the game of toyism is a serious matter that shows a new, critical and sensitive perspective on our present-day world.

Toyism as art movement is a reaction on the post-modern world of individualism, which existed in the 1970s through the 1990s, the era in which “everything is allowed”.

On September the 5th 1992 artist Dejo (pseudonym) writes a manifest called Mother and introduces toyism to the audience. The highly egocentric character that is deeply rooted in the arts becomes the basis for another ideology; the individual would play second fiddle to the group without sacrificing on the personal level or in quality.

The current toyism is a mixed group of professional artists from around the world with diverse cultural backgrounds and working in various disciplines, who can influence and enrich the style and, importantly, who put the art in the forefront and not themselves.

Uppspretta

Uppspretta is the name of a toyist artwork situated in the Icelandic town of Keflavík. In 2013 a neglected water tower, being nine meters in height and thirty-six meters in circumference, was transformed into an object of art. The painting shows the story of a puffin named Uppspretta.

The Dot

On July 14, 2009 the group is ventured upon an extensive project: painting a spherical gas storage container, being 22 meters in height and 1250 square meters in surface, situated in Emmen, Netherlands. The toyists transform this object within 9 months (6000 hours) into a colourful artwork called The Dot (De Stip in Dutch). The Dot tells the story about Living with Energy.

Dreams for Breakfast

In april 2012 the toyists started with the painting of the outside of Hotel Ten Cate in Emmen. During five weeks the hotel was hiding behind a huge scaffolding with canvases. Thirteen toyists have expressed their creativity from early in the morning until late at night on the 600 m2 facade of the building.

Uppspretta

Uppspretta is the name of a toyist artwork situated in the Icelandic town of Keflavík. In 2013 a neglected water tower, being nine meters in height and thirty-six meters in circumference, was transformed into an object of art. The painting shows the story of a puffin named Uppspretta.

The Dot

On July 14, 2009 the group is ventured upon an extensive project: painting a spherical gas storage container, being 22 meters in height and 1250 square meters in surface, situated in Emmen, Netherlands. The toyists transform this object within 9 months (6000 hours) into a colourful artwork called The Dot (De Stip in Dutch). The Dot tells the story about Living with Energy.

Dreams for Breakfast

In april 2012 the toyists started with the painting of the outside of Hotel Ten Cate in Emmen. During five weeks the hotel was hiding behind a huge scaffolding with canvases. Thirteen toyists have expressed their creativity from early in the morning until late at night on the 600 m2 facade of the building.

750+ Works of Art

Colourful, storytelling, handcrafted

26 Artists

You can still join us. Life is short.

10+ Countries

All over the world

8+ Projects

Mega pieces of Art work

1 Movement

We are the play community

Toyism is as playing soccer

The rules are clear. What you see is what you get. Everyone knows how the game should be played and still the stadiums are again and again filled with thousands of people who like to be surprised by the swift actions, thoughtful interplay, creative ball handling, team spirit, the strength of the corporate and individual feats.

Toyists want to be judged on the originality and authenticity of their work and the ideas which underlies it. That is universal and timeless, where the momentary fame of the loner will not fit. It is like the true love for your favorite club which dictates: scoring we do all together!

Toyists around
the world

The intentional choice for anonymity, de-individualisation, preferring a guerilla approach, having a predilection for staging at public spaces and an anti-establishment mentality, includes the ideas of the toyists.

Toyist Ollafinah
Toyist Xippez
Layer-5
Toyist Mwano
NOOIYA
Toyist Dejo
Toyist Toescat
Laag-6
Laag-6
Toyist Jaf'r
Toyist Zigowst
Toyist Roq

Toyists around
the world

A mixed group of professional artists from around the world with different cultural backgrounds working in various disciplines that affect toyism, add value and important, placing the art in the foreground and not themselves.

Toyist Roq
Toyist Eiiz
Toyist Ollafinah
Laag-17
Laag-17
Amukek
Toyist Qooimee
Toyist Lodieteb
Layer-5
Laag-7
Gihili
NOOIYA

Toyists around
the world

The intentional choice for anonymity, de-individualisation, preferring a guerilla approach, having a predilection for staging at public spaces and an anti-establishment mentality, includes the ideas of the toyists.

Toyist Ollafinah
Toyist Xippez
Layer-5
Toyist Mwano
Toyist Mwano
Toyist Dejo
Toyist Toescat
Laag-6
Laag-6
Toyist Jaf'r
Toyist Zigowst
Toyist Roq
Toyist Roq
Toyist Eiiz
Toyist Ollafinah
Laag-17
Laag-17
Amukek
Toyist Qooimee
Toyist Lodieteb
Layer-5
Laag-7
Gihili
NOOIYA

SPACE SHUTTLES AND TEDDY BEARS

Toyism can be split in two different periods, the period 1992 until 2000 and 2002 until the present. In the first period mostly the themes were worked out in a surrealistic manner and the returning presence of fixed icons (computer, space shuttle and teddy-bear) in their paintings. These icons represented the attending artists. After the triumvirate fell apart, founder Dejo decided to make a world-trip and gets inspired to make toyism more international and open. As from 2002 the group of artists grows exponentially and artists from every corner of the earth decide to participate.

The philosophy of toyism is that the artists operate as a collective, instead of separate individuals, hence one toyist cannot be seen as more important or famous than the other. There is no rivalry among the artists. The evident message they carry out is that the artworks count, not the artist itself that has created it. Although the artists do make their own art, in many occasions the toyists work together, which means that the produced artwork cannot be attributed to a single artist.

The toyists

Searching the boundaries of the game and the playing field, creatively dealing with limitations, attempting to get the best out of themselves and out of the game, those are things that the toyists all know about. In fact, this is what they do.

Interactive map of Toyism artists

Move over the hotspots

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1

FIHI

Toyist Fihi is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Fihi

2

JAF’R

Toyist Jaf’r is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Jafr

3

QOIMEE

Toyist Qooimee is from Iceland

Toyist-Qooimee

4

GIHILI

Toyist Gihili is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Gihili

5

DEJO

Toyist Dejo is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Dejo

6

HRIBSO

Toyist Hribso is from Romania.

Toyist-Hribso

7

SRYLYN

Toyist Srylyn is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Srylyn

8

BLIISSEM

Toyist Bliissem is from The Netherlands.

Toyist-Bliissem

9

EIIZ

Toyist Eiiz is from Malaysia.

Toyist-Eiiz

10

ROQ

Toyist Roq is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Roq

11

LODIETEB

Toyist Lodieteb is from Australia.

Toyist-Lodieteb

12

MWANO

Toyist Mwano is from South Africa.

Toyist-Mwano

13

XIPPEZ

Toyist Xippez is from The Netherlands.

Toyist-Xippez

14

TOESCAT

Toyist Toescat is from Thailand.

Toyist-Toescat

15

ZIGOWST

Toyist Zigowst is from the USA

Toyist-Zigowst

16

OLLAFINAH

Toyist Ollafinah is from Canada

Toyist-Ollafinah

17

Amukek

Toyist Amukek is from The Netherlands

Toyist-Amukek

18

NOOIYA

Toyist Nooiya is from The Netherlands
Toyist-Nooiyah

Most toyists are real storytellers

Sometimes even their works of art take on epic proportions. A narrative masterpiece is undoubtedly “Living with energy” (the main theme of The Dot), but also “Dreams for breakfast” at Hotel Ten Cate in Emmen and the water tank Uppspretta in Iceland have unprecedented epic qualities with sensual components and where crazy escapades is the rule rather than the exception.