How the world became his stage: Our exclusive interview with highly talented Dutch artist TOSHY…
Milestones: Exhibitions in London, Zürich, Monaco, Barcelona, Amsterdam and above all my solo exhibition last summer at Ibiza
Current location: Breda, The Netherlands
Please introduce yourself to us.
I was born in Breda, The Netherlands (1970). The eighties were defining years for my style later to come. Pop icon video-clips with stars such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince and Depeche Mode, George Michael instilled a strong vision in how creativity could be portrayed in the world. Supermodels like Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell got my attention for beauty, fashion, models and photography.
The Hip Hop documentary movie “Star wars (1983)” triggered me to create my first graffiti’s in the streets of The Netherlands. At just aged 16 I won several graffiti contests and I have had my first interviews for diverse newspapers and magazines. At age 18 I stopped creating graffiti and started a career as advertising art director. I developed my copywriting, design, photograph and illustration skills and years later (2013) everything came together in one place, my art style was born.
Going back to when you were younger, when did you first become interested in art?
As a child I was always drawing and my parents took me to museums in Amsterdam and Paris. As a teenager exhibitions of icons such as Erwin Olaf, Keith Haring, Jeff Koons and Roy Lichtenstein inspired me and helped my interest in art. My creative mind and creative executions are definitely influenced by them.
How many years have you been an artist?
I like to say, “Since I was born!” but for public visible for 3,5 years. My first exhibition was in March 2013 in Amsterdam. I sold my first artwork and from that point “The world became my stage!”
What is your creative process like?
People, surroundings, news, issues, behaviour and situations inspire me to create stories and messages. When a subject pops-up in my mind the story grows. It takes a while but finally everything comes together; the right model, style of photography, styling, make-up, story, colors and materials. After the photoshoot all ingredients are available to start with the execution of the artwork. With passion from the heart I start creating and the paint and texts appear in a natural way on the canvas. All artworks contain stories and messages. I also use symbols in my art like hearts, diamonds, arrows and stars. Every symbol color has a meaning in relation to the story. I often use gold it says: “go for the best you can achieve”.
Is there anything that particularly inspires you?
Which piece you made are you most proud of?
There’s no piece in particular. I’m proud when people are being touched by my art or when it inspires them.
What do you think makes an artwork successful?
As an artist I feel like artworks are successful if the audience is moved, when they’re engaged and when it inspires them to view subjects/life in a different perspective.
What are some of your favorite art world hangout spots? Do you go to a lot of openings, museums, galleries and other artists’ studios?
My favourite art world hangout spots are the small galleries in London and Berlin, you’ll find a lot of diversity in style and they frequently change their exhibitions. I don’t visit many openings of other artists; actually I only visit befriended artist openings and my own vernissages. My favourite museum in The Netherlands is “De Kunsthal” in Rotterdam because of their diversity in exhibitions and they exhibit artist like “Keith Haring” and “Peter Lindbergh”, which I like.
Do you have any upcoming shows or collaborations?
November 12th you’re welcome for my collaboration exhibition “LEGENDS” in Hilversum. It’s a collaboration with Dutch celebrity photographer William Rutten. I created my story on Williams photos of famous pop and rockstars like Madonna, Prince, George Michael. The collaboration was amazing and 12 artworks on canvas will be shown to public. (Location: Mijn Lijstenmakerij – Hilversum The Netherlands).
Give us 5 fun facts people might not know about you.
1. I’m pretty good in imitating people’s behaviour and attitude.
2. I’m pretty good in imitating people’s voices and accents.
3. Every day I do something that is not allowed (sshht!!).
4. You can call me for a glass of white wine from 10 ‘o clock in the morning.
5. Life has so much to offer so I don’t like to sleep.
Where can we follow you?
The world is my stage, so if you wanna follow… be my guest!
If you wanna follow me online or wanna know where I’m going?