Welcome to the toyism information page. Here you can learn more about the Toyism Art Movement.
You can also take a look at our portfolio with: exhibitions, commissions, charity auctions, collections and bibliography.
What is Toyism?
The answer can be contradictory and complicated. The best way to begin is to answer what Toyism is not.
- It isn’t Graffiti, but you can actualy see the lines of street artists already embedded in Toyism.
- It isn’t Conceptual Art, but every produced piece has a strong concept.
- It isn’t Fauvism, but you can trace the bright and expressive colors that you find in fauvism.
- It isn’t Cubism, but you can see how the toyists are playing with the space and shapes.
- It isn’t Dada, but you find a lot of suprises and funny things that are slightly different than expected.
- It isn’t Expressionism, but you can find some indications of it in some of the paintings like the painting The Magical History Tour.
- It isn’t Folk Art, but you can see the dots already in indigenous masks in many cultures.
The thing about Toyism is that it can be many things and still be recognizable as Toyism. Some people say art must be only in the streets, some say it must be only in galleries or museums. Toyism is doing both. It can be small and also monumental. That’s because of the nature of Toyism. If someone defines Toyism only as an art movement there would be a lot of things that could not be explained. It is an art movement, but is obiously much more then that. That’s because Toyism is an alphabet, with its own grammar. You can write simple sentences, but you can also write complex texts. That’s the knowledge behind Toyism.
The recipe is, of course, a secret ingrediënt, but the understanding comes when you realize that it IS a recipe. The paintings seems light and almost easy to make, but soon you realize how complicate it is to achieve that apparent easiness. And this is also a special ingrediënt of Toyism: an apparent easiness. When you see a magician performing, you want to see light and elegant movements, not to see him struggle with coins and game cards. You KNOW that there is a lot of work behind the tricks, but the effort of the magician aims at easiness and lightness. Like magicians performing light card tricks, the lines, shapes and dots in toyist paintings are elegant and appear easy to make. But they are not. Or maybe it is for the toyists, because for them working is like breathing, and when you are passionate about something you can move mountains. This is one lesson Toyism can teach.
The other one is that you need magic în your life, and sometimes you just have to enjoy the ride and let yourself be surround by magic. A toyist artwork can be explained in many details, but it is also surrounded by mystery. You need that, you need that sense of wonder. Toyism can do that. If you are looking for that spark of magic, just look at a toyist painting. This is the biggest secret of Toyism, and it’s hidden în plain sight. Everything else is just steril rationalisation. Who needs that? Just sit back, relax and let the magician do his tricks, so you can feel that special inner child again, the one you secretly want to be, the one that is hidding behind your social mask.
This is the third lesson Toyism can teach: look behind YOUR mask, because the urge to find whats behind those colorful masks is a hidden urge to look behind yours. You just don’t realize it. So let the toyists help you, fill you with colors and shapes, with lines and dots, and maybe you’ll catch a glimps of what’s behind YOUR mask. You can find an entire universe there, if you let the art work it’s magic.
That’s Toyism. It’s everything you can think off, and more.
Visit the Toyism Studio
Are you curious yet? You can also visit the Toyism Studio, meet the toyists and experience the magic yourself. Our studio is open during weekdays and once every month we have an open house during the weekend. If you like to attend one of the open days, please leave your name and email below to notify the toyists of your attendance and curiousness.
On weekdays the studio is open from 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. During the weekend visits to the studio are possible by appointment. Visiting the studio is free of charge.
The dates of our open days will follow soon.
Toyism Curators Statement
Although Toyism has been around since 1992, the social impact and importance is only now beginning to get recognized. This has everything to do with the prevailing zeitgeist and the realization that Toyism contains instruments that can give visual arts an anchoring point in broad social sections.
Whether it is establishing the framework, determining the playing field, coming to clear agreements, addressing offenders for their behaviour and course of action, or even worse: punishing them for unsporting conduct, it all sounds pretty severe and formal and is therefore mostly seen as a nuisance. Though still: playing together is fun, particularly if those who take part know and obey the rules. Rules are made to clarity and prevent things from getting out of hand in the heat of the moment. However more importantly: they can increase the enjoyment. In contrast to what is often believed, agreements and strict rules need not interfere with the pleasure or the creative process. Drawing the lines during the game and knowing the boundaries of the playing field, handling restrictions creatively and attempting to obtain the maximum out of yourself and the game, are things that toyists know all about. Actually, that’s what it is all about for them.
Toyism is up to date. The movement effectively bridges the gap between high and low culture and seeks new ways to communicate with the public. This leads to an exciting search for the way in which the discussion about the social playing field by visual arts can be lifted to a higher level without losing sight of the clarity and purity of the intentions. Public participation is enforced in a playful way and generates joy in which all parties feel involved.
Toyism is carried and propagated by a collective of internationally operating artists. The strict organizational form is the best guarantee for continuity and a guarantee for quality and global dimensions. Since the collective sticks to fixed rituals that are recorded in a secret manifesto, the ambitions can be realized on the cutting edge. Possible misunderstandings about the intentions of the movement are tackled beforehand.
The social relevance that the toyists strive for is also the trademark of the movement. The similarities with other –isms and renewal/innovative movements include the search for alternatives and creative solutions for stalled social processes. In light of this, Toyism is an innovative movement that can force a strong positioning in the front line of contemporary visual arts. That not everyone has realized this, but it has to do with the conditioned viewing behaviour and frame of reference with which the movement is often (wrongly) confronted. That has everything to do with the emphasis in the ‘mission statement’ on the Homo Ludens. The importance of play is still not sufficiently recognized and taken seriously. The Toyists are able to remove that prejudice and break the stalemate with regard to conditioned thinking about the element of play in contemporary art. In addition, the game can be played by everyone. The democratic and universal content therefore gains importance and significance.
From an art-historical view, Toyism is in line with the group processes that have always played an important role in the visual arts, even in the years of progressive individualization that dominated art in the 1970s and 1980s. In search of art historical frameworks within which the work and ideas of the Toyists can be placed, references to Pop Art, New Image Painting, Keith Haring and Graffiti are inevitable. The toyists also represent the modern sense of life and make art accessible to everyone. They propagate the power of Art Unlimited by introducing their ideas and images to the general public via calendars, postcards, graphics and wall painting. In their work, the distinction between high and low culture pales. Art is for everyone; it does not discriminate and does not exclude anyone. Furthermore, there is a strong affinity with Environmental Art.
The crossovers are legion. This is characteristic of the multidisciplinary approach of the toyists. Presentation of visual arts has long ceased to be the exclusive right of museums and galleries. Art is everywhere and can be shown everywhere. The basic idea is to create a total experience. Anyone who wants to, can be part of Toyism. This invitation calls for a broad range and an artistic approach that is literally groundbreaking and therefore can infiltrate both the established art order and the global playing field.
Wim van der Beek
Independent curator of contemporary art
Lecturer Art & Society
SELECTED EXHIBITIONS & ART FAIRS:
- 2020: PAVILION VREDESTEIN, ZUIDLAREN, THE NETHERLANDS
- 2019: FORUM, GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
- 2018: KEI FAAT PRIMARY SCHOOL, HONG KONG, CHINA
- 2018: TONG LAU SPACE, HONG KONG, CHINA
- 2017: ART GRONINGEN, GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2017: KUNSTMAAND AMELAND, AMELAND, NETHERLANDS
- 2017: TOYISM TAKES OVER, 25 LOCATIONS, NETHERLANDS
- 2017: RLS1957, GRAND CARNIVAL, EELDE, NETHERLANDS
- 2016: UNIVERSITY GALLERY, PONTE DA LIMA, PORTUGAL
- 2016: CULTUURPODIUM VANSLAG, BORGER, NETHERLANDS
- 2015: TOYISM GALLERY GRONINGEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2014: POP UP SHOW, STEDELIJK MUSEUM, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
- 2014: DRENTS MUSEUM, ASSEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2014: KUNST AAN DE VAART, ASSEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2014: POP UP SHOW, LIONS CLUB, JEVER, GERMANY
- 2013: GARDEN GALLERY BEELDEN IN GEES, GEES, NETHERLANDS
- 2012: GROTE KERK, EMMEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2011: KOELSCH GALLERY, HOUSTON, USA
- 2008: NATIONAL MUSEUM, UGANDA, AFRICA
- 2007: GALERIE THYENCAMP, ASSEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2007: KOELSCH GALLERY, HOUSTON, USA
- 2006: ROBOT ART GALLERY, SAN ANTONIO, USA
- 2006: GALERIE HAAGS, DEN HAAG, NETHERLANDS
- 2006: INTERNATIONAL PRINT & DRAWING EXHIBITION, TAIPEI, TAIWAN
- 2006: SECRET ART WORKS, CINCINNATI, USA
- 2006: ART BASEL MIAMI, MIAMI, USA
- 2005: KUNSTRAI, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
- 2005: BEIJING NATURAL CULTURAL CENTER, BEIJING, CHINA
- 2005: TIME WARNER CABLE GALLERY, CINCINNATI, USA
- 2004: BEURS VAN BERLAGE, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
- 2004: NEW SPACE ART GALLERY, EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2003: ART FAIR ANTWERP, ANTWERP, BELGIUM
- 2003: WERKPLAATS EMMEN, EMMEN, NETHERLANDS
- 2003: KUNST EVENT ROTTERDAM, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
- 2000: BARLINGTON GALLERY, NEW YORK, USA
- 2000: GALERIE ARTIEN, AMERSFOORT, NETHERLANDS
- 1999: GALERIE DE HOOIBERG, GROESSEN, NETHERLANDS
- 1999: GALERIE ERTE ART, DUSSELDORF, GERMANY
- 1999: ART FAIR, UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS
- 1998: WORLD FINE ART GALLERY, NEW YORK, USA
- 1998: GALERIE JA, EINDHOVEN, NETHERLANDS
- 1997: GALERIE DE SIGARENFABRIEK, DELFT, NETHERLANDS
- 1997: GALERIE ERTE ART, DUSSELDORF, GERMANY
- 1996 – 1997: GALERIE ARTO IMAGO, UDEN, NETHERLANDS
- 1994: GALERIE ART SUPPORT, KAATSHEUVEL, NETHERLANDS
- 1993 – 2000: HUNTENKUNST, DOETINCHEM, NETHERLANDS
- 1993: VEEN MUSEUM, EMMEN, NETHERLANDS
- 1993: INTERNATIONAL ART GALLERY CLIVE MILLER, NETHERLANDS
- 1993: ART 54 GALLERY, NEW YORK, USA
- 1993: GALERIE GUIDO DE SPA, AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
- ‘TOUR OF DREAMS’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘BEERFLOWERS’ (HEINEKEN INTERNATIONAL)
- ‘LIONHEART’ (DELIWIJN BV)
- ‘THE FOUR SEASONS OF VIVALDI’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘THE STRENGHT OF ONE HORSEPOWER’ (SMITH AND ASSOCIATES)
- ‘THE BALL OF THE KING’ (ALBERT HERENMODE)
- ‘THE FREAKSHOW’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘WINDOWS UPON THE FUTURE’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘RABOBANK 100’ (100-YEAR RABOBANK NETHERLANDS)
- ‘TO TRAVEL UNDER WATER’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘THE TASTE OF COLLABORATION’ (DJGA ARCHITECTS)
- ‘LIVE WITH ENERGY’ (LIVING INDUSTRY)
- ‘BIG FIVE – BOSCHENDAL’ (DELIWIJN BV)
- ‘DANCE OF LOVE’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘HEARTS OF GIRAFFE IS TRUMP CARD’ (HOTEL DE GIRAF)
- THE DIAMOND BIRD (KLM FLIGHT ACADEMY)
- ‘THE PARADE OF 90 IN THE FOURTH GEAR’ (MISKER)
- ‘TWO IN ONE’ (SMITH AND ASSOCIATES)
- ‘THE HOUSE OF THE BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN’ (DRAGSTRA HOLDING)
- ‘PERPETUUM MOBILEE ‘ (DRAGSTRA HOLDING)
- ‘LIVE YOUR DREAM’ (HOTEL TEN CATE)
- ‘THE PARADISE STROLLERS’ (JAN VAN PEER B.V.)
- ‘GUARDIANS OF THE JUNGLE’ (KRAL & SCHUKKEN NOTARY)
- ‘A REVEALING TUNE’ (TDS PRINTING)
- ‘THE POTATO EATERS’ (TDS PRINTING)
- ‘THE PALACES EMPIRE’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘THE GOLDEN ARK’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘THE SHIP CONDUCTOR’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
- ‘HORSEPOWER MANIA’ (TOUR DE TT)
- ‘RELEASE FORCES’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
SCULPTURES/PUBLIC ART/MURALS (COMMISSIONS)
- ‘NOAH’S ARK’ (KEI FAAT PRIMARY SCHOOL)
- ‘THE VIP-BOAT’ (MARIA PARADO DE BELLIDO SCHOOL)
- ‘THE FLYING DUTCHMAN’ (RLS1957 PROVINCE OF DRENTHE)
- ‘DREAMS FOR BREAKFAST’ (HOTEL TEN CATE)
- ‘PROJECT 13’ (HOTEL TEN CATE)
- ‘FLOWER FROGS ANS LADY BUGS’ (DIALYSIS CENTER EMMEN)
- ‘CAPTAIN OF PUFFIN 747’ (HOTEL KEFLAVIK)
- ‘AS THE WHALE GOES BY’ (HOTEL KEFLAVIK)
- ‘6 SCULPTURES’ (DUTCH TT – MOTOR GP)
- ‘THE TOWERSNAIL’ (PRINS JOHAN FRISO MYTYLSCHOOL)
- ‘ELEPHANT PARADE’ (E-PHANT)
- ‘PETS FOR CATS’ (PRIVATE INDIVIDUAL)
BIG FIVE & BOSCHENDAL WINE
Reveal of the Big Five in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2014. The painting is also featured on a label of Boschendal Wine. A silkscreen was made of this painting in a limited edition. Number 1 was posthumously awarded to Nelson Mandela and handed over to Peter Goosen, ambassador of South Africa.
- WARCHILD, EMMEN, THE NETHERLANDS
- SOS ASIA, NOORDWIJK, THE NETHERLANDS
- SOS KINDERDORPEN, GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
- UNICEF ‘KIDS ON ROOF’, GRONINGEN, THE NETHERLANDS
- UBUNTU ‘STREETKIDS’, EMMEN, THE NETHERLANDS
- SOUPKITCHEN ‘AFRICA’, EMMEN, THE NETHERLANDS
Public, corporate & private collections worldwide, including the following:
- CITY OF EMMEN
- CITY OF KEFLAVIK
- CITY OF ASSEN
- HEINEKEN INTERNATIONAL
- HOTEL KEFLAVIK
- HOTEL TEN CATE
- SMITH AND ASSOCIATES
- TOUR DE TT ‘HORSEPOWER MANIA’, TOYISM STUDIO 2016
- WIM VAN DER BEEK ‘UPPSPRETTA’, TOYISM STUDIO 2014
- ANNELIEKE IDEMA, ‘TOYISM , MAKING HISTORY’, My Bestseller BV, 2013
- WIM VAN DER BEEK, ‘TOYISM BEHIND THE MASK’, WAANDERS BOOKS, 2012
- ‘KUNSTGIDS / ART GUIDE THE NETHERLANDS’, 2010
- ‘ELEPHANT PARADE’, 2010
- ‘ART REVISITED – TOYISM MOVEMENT’, 2004 – 2007
- ‘DE KUNST VAN HET LEREN EN HET LEREN VAN DE KUNST’, 1997
- ‘DE OPSTANDING VOLGENS DE TOYISTEN‘, KLAAS KOOPMAN, FEESTEN VOOROP, 1995
Want to know more? Send a request for our CV to: info @ toyism.com