As everything in art as well as politics and sport revolves around the individual, the toyists elect to appear in a group and herein for anonymity. Each one has taken on a pseudonym and portrays himself as a cartoon-type figure. Announcements are made public in the form of printed texts and manifestos without appearing in the media.

    Header Projects - Toyism Art Movement

    In the border area between fantasy and reality a play on stories and images is created, which encourages a further journey of discovery.

    Header Projects - Toyism Art Movement


Toyism Art is all about art. Toyists operate as a collective as well as individually, but the art always comes first. We want people to enjoy and marvel the art, not the individual artist. We try to make an environment more beautiful or more engaging for the public. Create an iconic place where people feel happy and joyful.  Our art is figurative, contemporary and always based on a story. These stories can cover all kinds of subjects, from happy to critical or serious subjects.

We ask the public to really look at the art and discover the (hidden) meaning, not just look at the bright colors. We like people to get involved with our art and make them think. Hence toyism public artworks strive not only to change the visual landscape but to change the viewer as well. Toyism art is colorful, bright, involving, inspiring, iconic, engaging, controversial and professional.


Mural in Lima, Peru

The VIP Boat is a project done at the Maria Parado de Bellido school in Lima, Peru. The project was set up as a community project. Students and parents of the school helped to make the project a succes. The VIP Boat features some very important painters. Can you spot them all?

What’s for Dinner?

Mural in 798 Art District in Beijing

Toyism won first price in the competition Beautiful Beijing set up by the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and organised by Contesthink.  This resulted in a 5 x 10 meter mural with the title “What’s for Dinner?” in 751D park. It became the backdrop to the opening of the Beijing design festival. Present were officials from embassies including the cultural officer of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. 

What’s for Dinner:

With its eight tentacles the octopus embraces the world cuisine and shows more than just one face. He extracts ingredients from the eating habits of different cultures and his tentacles are a true quest for worldly dishes. He invents the most special creations that are based on the plant and animal kingdoms, like his famous sugar coated shark cake, his slow baked turtle burger, his robust potato chips horse, his flying rice grains, his kiwi candies or the mouse tart, they are all unique and world class dishes. Let’s eat!

Noah’s Ark:

The Philosophy of Faith

In Hong Kong (China) toyism set up a community art project in collaboration with Kei Faat Primary School (Yau Tong) and TongLau Space. The toyists worked together with students, parents and teachers to create six murals. Also more then 500 3D dots were painted by the students of the school, these dots also became part of the artwork. The overall theme of the murals is Noah’s Ark. Elements from the original story are used, namely the ark, animals and duality. The ark and animal elements were combined, each mural has an ark in the shape of an animal plus the corresponding animal characteristics. Each mural was given a subtheme to express a certain duality.

Searches for Noah’s Ark have been made for ages and believers in the myth continue to search for it in modern times. While a literal Noah’s Ark did not exist, nor is there geologic evidence of a biblical flood, believers throughout history have tried to rationalize the Ark’s existence. When the flood was imminent, a pair of every land animal and bird, a male and female, was sent to the ark. What is rather strange and contradicting in this myth is the fact that birds can fly, even when it’s raining.

The story of the Genesis flood has inspired Toyism to put this myth in a more different, funny, colourful and modern perspective, though the message is clear. Each painting has a variation to the Noah’s Ark myth. Instead of the land animals and birds that have set foot in the ark, we have chosen these animals to be the ark itself. Though the myth just talks about land animals and birds, we have created a fish ark as well. This fish, a lionfish, includes symbols of the religions and irreligion. That is, they need to be saved for the future (as humanity will keep having discussions).

Thus, we have designed the following animal Ark’s:

  1. The Chameleon Ark
  2. The Lionfish Ark
  3. The Bee Ark
  4. The Panda Ark
  5. The Leopard Ark
  6. The Peacock Ark

Ark 1: Puppets
The Chameleon Ark
Here the Toyism puppets are used for artists in general. Art is important and art should be saved, after the flood. The chameleon ark takes good care of this. Check it out and find the Toyism artworks in this mural.

Ark 2: Religion vs. Paganism
The Lionfish Ark
Symbols of the religions and paganism falling in the Lionfish Ark are to be kept for the future. We all should live in peace and harmony, no matter what kind of belief or nonbelief you preach or have. Can it be real, or is this just wishfull thinking? See the angels pulling the ark on the left side while the devils resist.

Ark 3: Food
The Bee Ark
This special and healty bee ark rolls on the fruits. In the modern world, we eat a lot of unhealthy food. The choice of food and the way we consume it has great effects on our body. This bee shows both healthy and unhealthy food. Find them and choose which one fits the best for you.

Ark 4: Black – White
The Panda Ark
Here the panda is not illustrated in black and white as we know it to be, but he has coloured parts on the body. Propelled by legs of the zebra, he takes all sorts of different origins. Whether you are white, black, yellow, red or brown, the panda ark unfailingly takes you with him. Discrimination no longer exists here.

Ark 5: Children
The Leopard Ark
The leopard ark is the fastest of the ark family. He is equipped with wheels and his rapid locomotion leaving the big flood behind him. Per two (regardless of their sexual orientation, boy and girl, boy and boy, girl and girl) children ride along with him, on their way to a new future.

Ark 6: Masks
The Peacock Ark
This colourful bird flies high in the sky, saving masks. Masks have been used for both ceremonial and practical purposes. Normally worn on the face, they are typically worn for protection, disguise, performance or entertainment. In Toyism, the mask is rather important; every Toyist is equal, purposely not showing the face. People recognise a Toyist by his/her mask. Do you also?

Despite all paintings look totally different by colour, we used the same 13 colours in each mural.

Also watch the short documentary by Hong Kong CableTV about the project below.

The Flying Dutchman


In 2017 on September 5th, it was exactly 25 years ago since toyism was founded. The former Rijksluchtvaartschool (RLS1957) was a beautiful location for a anniversary party and a retrospective exhibition. The RLS1957 was designed by architect Pierre Cuypers Jr. in cooperation with F.P. Glastra van Loon and Bart van der Leck. Van der Leck was a member of the art movement De Stijl. Today the RLS1957 is still an icon of this art movement. In 2017 it was a hundred years ago that De Stijl was launched.

During the exhibition a sculpture was made, commissioned by the province of Drenthe, and painted by several toyists. The sculpture, in the form of an airplane, has two very different sides. One side is toyism, the other side stands for art movement De Stijl.

De Stijl

De Stijl side only has the characteristic colours of the movement, red, blue, yellow and black and white. In the middle of the aircraft a tree can be seen, it is a reference to the trees of Mondriaan. On the keel, at the back of the plane, is a pipe smoking figure. A reference to Theo van Doesburg, Bart van der Leck and Piet Mondriaan, all members of De Stijl, who all smoked pipe.


On the toyism side, there are no restrictions in the use of colour. Different swans fly along with the airplane or go along as a passenger. The swan is a reference to a famous KLM advertising commercial and in this case also the building itself (lots of KLM pilots have had their training here). And who can spot the KLM logo? Furthermore, the stripes on the front stand for the different ranks of a pilot.
The Flying Dutchman is now permanently on display in the RLS1957 in Eelde.











Horsepower Mania

Moto GP – Dutch TT (Tour de TT)

Van Wijngaarden/Agostini/Schwantz

It is said that in space from one point to another one cannot travel faster than light, but there has been a “shortcut” in Assen since 1925. This short path is also referred to as the TT circuit where drivers race faster than the speed of light. Drivers of all vintages fly around the track like wormholes through time. It was in the year 1925 when Piet van Wijngaarden (wearing number 36) crosses the finish line first, like a true horseman (1HP). He did it again on his Norton Paardje (Norton-Horse) in 1926.

From underneath him on the Ossenbroeken, Giacomo Agostini, pops up at the hindmost part of the Drenthe circuit, leaning forward on his faithful Agusta. He has won no less than 14 times in various classes. He rightfully wears number one. The year 1990 changed the circuit into a big rodeo – led by none other than Kevin Schwantz. This Texan cowboy – wearing his famous number 34 – flies through the wormhole. He has won the premier class three times in 1990, 1991 and 1993!


The biggest one-day event in the Netherlands also points out to be a great circus in 1980. This is reflected by Jumping Jack Middelburg, wearing number 8. He pounces upon the circuit like a circus horse and runs off. Jack finishes first and becomes a true folk hero. The first edition after the war in 1946 was won by Dutchman Piet Knijnenburg on his German BMW. Its 32 horsepower engine was able to reach a top speed of 180 km/h. With an average of 180 km/h and a top speed of over 300 km/h, flying speed demon Marc Marquez races his Honda through the Duikersloot and wins the GP in 2014. Wearing number 93 (his year of birth), he kicks everyone else’s butt and becomes world champion whilst in his debut year in 2013. He shows great promise for the future.

Hartog/Rossi/Steuer & Schnieders

The year is 1977. Assen is startled by a white giant. Wearing number 30, Wil Hartog gains success on his Suzuki as he passes the checkered flag first. Assen becomes mad! This achievement has even resulted in a factory contract. Valentino Rossi (alias “The Doctor”) is one of the greatest drivers of all time and a true box office hit in Assen. Paying his respect to the event in 1997 – wearing number 46 – he passes Hartog from underneath and wins the GP class as many as six times. The embodiment of motorcycle racing sends its perfectly cut machine via Ramshoek towards the famous circuit corner by the name of “Geert Timmer” (GT wins Assen no less than 4 times).

At that very corner the golden sidecar kicks in, driven by Streuer and Schnieders, crossing the finish line first in 1987 and 1991. They become world champion three times; in 1984, 1985 and 1986 and are therefore reckoned Hollands greatest wholesaler in precious metals.

Flower Frogs and Lady Bugs

Dialysis Center

In the green factory of life ladybugs doctors and ladybugs nurses are taking care of patients flower-frogs. Blue and violet ladybugs are flying above ground with large stethoscopes. A large Kolff machine is busy trying to exchange a liquid dissolved in water. The machine is a bit sleepy; he has much work to do because of the large number of flower frogs. Fortunately, a large whale and dolphin assist him distribute the water. The green substance is converted in red one and you can feel the rhythm of life circulating dot by dot. Free cells are flying above a large kidney.

The patients (flower-frogs) are happy because the staff (dark-red ladybugs) takes good care of them. When they suffer they are green and blue, but then after treatment change the flower frogs change in bright colors, such as pink/red flowers and they are ready to go home. The image is painted on a large wall in the dialysis Center in Emmen.

9 meters


36 meters









Water tower in Iceland

The legend of UPPSPRETTA

Once upon a time there was a little puffin. He was named Uppspretta because he always was bursting of energy. Living with his parents in a nice clean nest in Keflavik, Iceland, he was very curious to discover the world, and wants to know more about his background and the country Iceland.

The little puffin studied hard, read many books and found out the island is geologically about 20 million years ago by volcanic and geologic activity. According to the settlement of Iceland a Norse chieftain became the first permanent settler on the island, so he heard.

Uppspretta knew for sure now he must go to Norway to find himself a nice future wife.


His parents told him that he should not fly above land because he would drop out of the sky. But the little puffin was very curious and stubborn, and when he was ready to leave the nest he flew very far and felt down on land. Looking around him he saw strange buildings, we know as windmills. Uppspretta was not in Norway but arrived in Holland instead.

He lay there waiting for a man to pick him up but he didn’t know at all how a man would look like. He remembered his parents told him once that the people couldn’t fly and sing like birds do, but they were helping themselves with some strange instruments, like for instance musical instruments and airplanes.

The puffin fell asleep and dreamed about people who could play music and would fly back with him to his homeland. They appear like giant violins, trumpet plants and many other instruments.

In the middle of the dream a large ship loomed up and brought the puffin back to sea.

King of Puffins

The instruments took the little puffin and launched him above the water and his body transformed into a plane. Geysers and volcanoes helped him to fly high in the sky. A choir of Instruments-people was singing at him to encourage. Everywhere you heard the joy and everything was surrounded with colors. Nature and people helped just a little puffin to get back to Keflavik.

Now his life matters a lot. The little puffin Uppspretta got married with a wife from Norway, became the leader of all puffins Iceland and all over the Island everybody plays music now.

See more about this great project in Iceland on UPPSPRETTA

Captain of Puffin 747

Hotel Keflavik

The owner of Hotel Keflavik really loves airplanes, especially the 747. So during their stay in Iceland the toyists turned a wall of the restaurant into an artwork. Now breakfast is flown in by Captain of Puffin 747.

As the whale goes by

Hotel Keflavik

During the Uppspretta project the toyists were lucky enough to see whales swimming in the harbor. In memory of this breathtaking event a mural was created on the facade of one of the questhouses of Hotel Keflavik.

10 meters


71 meters








Dreams for Breakfast

Art Hotel

Project “Dreams for Breakfast” is the second major project of the Toyists, after the painting of the gasholder “The Dot” in 2010.

In april 2012 the Toyists started with the painting of the outside of the hotel. During five weeks the hotel was hiding behind a huge scaffolding with canvases, on which the names of the sponsors were mentioned. In total 55 companies from Emmen have contributed to the project “Dreams for Breakfast”.

13 Toyists have expressed their creativity from early morning until late at night on the 600 m2 facade of the building, so that on May 16, the canvasses were dropped, under the leadership of beautiful music of DJ Steff da Campo. With a final result the first Toyism hotel in the world!

Narrative: Two courting people are surrounded by – or even seem to be composed of – fine delicacies that a hotel offers to its guests; croissants & curly butter, fried eggs, coffee & cupcakes, strawberries, cherries, a melon, a French bread and red wine. The beloved couple has left its clothes in the suitcase under which the coat hanger dangles, the female firmly holds the key to their room and the pair is accompanied by some dreamwalkers. Try to discover the cheese, an essential element to every breakfast.
Both the northern and southern side of the building show the face of the ‘sleeping beauty’, surrounded with her dreams. The northern side represents the horse riding angel that has visited Charles the Great in a dream and ordered him to steal, as described in the legend of ‘Charles and Elegast’, it looks as if this angel is trying to steal our dreams. The sleeping beauty at this side is dreaming about the coming success of the local zoo of Emmen, that is subject to be rebuilt. She fantasises a hippo, a banana transformed to a monkey, some ducks en sheeplike clouds. Sheep can also be found at the southern side of the hotel. This side is dedicated to what is probably the oldest village of the Netherlands, Noordbarge. The gingerbread man stands in front of the traditional bread oven. The sleeping beauty on this side of the building wears a chicken on her head that has laid a beautiful egg and on which the cockerel proudly watches over. The chocolate brown cow is of course not forgotten. All these products form the basic ingredients for many delightful dishes the hotel has to offer.

The project “Dreams for Breakfast” told of course about sleeping and eating, but also about the imminent new Zoo Emmen and the old village Noordbarge. So there are multiple themes incorporated in the building. Also now one room is ready, the “Dance of Love”, a super romantic room which is fully painted, including ceiling and doors!

Project 13

Art Hotel

Seven rooms in the art hotel (Emmen – Netherlands) are painted by the toyists Hribso, Jaf’r, Lodieteb, UUlUU, Qooimee and Dejo with exuberant colors in appealing themes.

Sleeping in a work of art, that’s something different!

Dance of Love

Night in the Jungle

Chaplin’s Room

Ball Masqué

Secrets of the Sea

Art Forever

Spirit of Three Elephants


The Towersnail, a present from housing association Domesta to the users of “de Springplank” in Emmen, is made by the Toyists and the children of the Prins Johan Fryso Mytylschool. The snail carries its shell or house, which symbolises the move to the building. ‘Tower’ is a direct link to the floors of the building. The Towersnail consists of friskily and colourful elements referring to playing and learning. No less than 40 children have been painting 120 three dimensional dots that are placed at the edge of the tower and therefore form a colourful pattern.

The move is lead by the big octopus sitting on top of the snail playing tic-tac- toe with her tentacles. We also see big trucks depicted by moving boxes. What can be found in those boxes? A real racetrack, crayons, small inky fishes and sweet licorice. The Facebook-thumb is up, everything goes as planned. And the Twitter-bird cheeps a colourful song.

Toyism Cars

Elephant Parade

The E-Phant – Amukek, Dejo, Eiiz, Fihi, Iqoy, Jaf’r, Roq, Srylyn, UUlUU, Zigowst
Oil on Polyester – 60 inch high

The E-phant

The E-Phant is an electronic and energy efficient charging point created with green energy and sustainability in mind. It is in line with our major project entitled Living with Energy – the transformation of a 22-meter high spherical gas container in Emmen. Its ears are solar energy collectors that store energy and then send it off again via the socket. This sits atop the head of the elephant in the shape of a face. Just plug in and drive away…

In addition, two highways run over the entirety of the elephant: a green highway that stands for environmental friendly living and a red highway with red polluting cars driving on it.  The red cars are chased off the road by the green cars and swallowed up like Pac Men. The roundabouts are marked with the letter E for E-Phant (Energy Phant). The big footsteps that have been painted on the elephant in places symbolize people who are energy efficient and choose green energy. A polar bear is shown on the back of the elephant symbolizing the melting of the ice caps. An anteater is sucking up the red cars. The elephant’s tail changes into a cobra that poisons the red cars with its tongue.

This elephant stands for energy efficiency and sustainability. Special feature: The elephant has solar collectors in its ears that power the surrounding 20 led bulbs.” In today’s crowded world there’s simply not enough room for the Asian elephant. Thank you for joining Elephant Parade’s campaign to turn this around – we’re reconnecting their forests and saving their jungle homes.

E-PHANT of the Toyists!

In the light of the 75-birthday existence of the Emmen Zoo, the Elephant Parade started on Wednesday 12 May in the city of Emmen. Last year started in Amsterdam. Known artists as Corneille, Ans Markus, Henk Schiffmacher and Jan des Bouvrie have designed/painted an elephant for the charity Elephant Family, set up through Mark Shand.  The Asian elephant is serious threatened and with the donation elephant hospitals can be built and land can be taken on lease where they can live undisturbed .

The Toyists have been approached by the organization to make a design also. The elephant is called E-Phant and is bought by a company in Emmen.

The E-phant is available in five different sizes.

20 meters high

Work of Art

5 layers

Painted by hand

6000 m2

Bigger than a football field

17 toyists

From around the world

8 months

Paint, sweat and joy


Live With Energy


The Dot is bursting with energy!

The blue gas globe of Enexis in Emmen has been painted and transformed into a true work of art. Four elements form the basis of the design, the four energy sources being solar energy, wind energy, water energy and fossil fuels. Artists from across the world worked on the scaffolding for no less than eight months. Transforming the globe into a Toyistic art piece is an idea that originates from late 1997. In 2004, a trust is founded and eventually results in the commencement of the painting on July 27, 2009. After just over eight months and having worked 6000 hours with seventeen Toyists, The Dot is finally revealed in a festive manner on June 4, 2010. The height of 22 meters and a surface of 1250 m2 makes this artwork unique in The Netherlands.

The Dot Pink - Toyism Art Movement


The four classical elements of life – Earth, Water, Air and Fire – are featured in this painting of The Dot Project to show the history of energy production. The Dot Project is accomplished through commissioning by the “Living Industry” foundation in cooperation with the municipality of Emmen, the Province of Drenthe, Enexis and Holland Coating.

The design: The 4 elements of life are represented by 4 themes that form the basis of the design, namely the 4 energy sources.

1. Solar Energy

2. Wind Power

3. Hydropower

4. Raw Material Energy

In addition to these four fundamental themes, there is a single, central figure: the tree. The tree is a metaphor for life, energy, growth, development, and change. There are four sub-designs used. Each sub-design presents the combination or contrast of old and new forms of energy production and their applications (the sciences).

1. Solar Energy

An old form of the use of solar energy is photosynthesis; the mechanism by which plants and trees grow due to water and carbon dioxide from the air being converted into glucose. A new form is the collection of solar energy with the help of solar panels. An application is the (hybrid) car (economic science), which is charged by electricity that is again generated by solar panels. Houses are also heated by solar energy. As the rays of the sun strike the roof of the farm, energy is collected by the solar panel window.

2. Wind Power

Old: the traditional windmill, where the power of the wind is converted into mechanical labour, namely for grinding grain. Link the mill with bread, and crumbs are carried by the wind to the modern wind turbines where the kinetic energy of the air is converted into, for example, electricity (new). One of the windmills blows wind into the sail of the boat, while the cabin forms from the roof of the farm. Another windmill in bird form imitates a giraffe affording a panoramic view of new applications for the future.

3. Hydropower

Old: using paddles to transfer the current of water into rotational energy a watermill, just like the old windmill, has a direct application, namely the grinding of grain or the pressing of oil. New: hydrogen as fuel. Hydrogen fueled cars are much cleaner for the environment. A large dolphin emerges from the water. Drops of water turn into goldfish and salmon.

4. Raw Material Energy

Old: coal, peat and oil. The prehistoric nodding donkeys obtain fossil fuel from the ground. The elephant stomps the ground while a huge dinosaur emerges in the background. New: bio fuels, nuclear energy. A nuclear power station discharges clouds of smoke that fly through the air like atoms. Biogas as a clean fuel: cars that run on biogas that is extracted from the ‘excrements’ of the piggy bank. Springing from the ancient peat bogs as the lifeblood and central focal point of the design is the red tree, which forms the basis for new and green energy forms. The electrical sockets in the tree deliver green power.

In addition, in the form of standalone motifs, general applications or containers of energy such as ecobunny lights and battery-insects can be seen moving throughout the whole painting.