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16 pieces by The Toyists
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Broken Heart by Toescat
Camouflage Cats by Toyist Toescat 2006
Candy Doll
Cat Boeddha is a Tiger, really!
Cosmic help for Mother Earth by Toyist Fihi
Dry Sand and Fat Gravy
Friends by Dejo
Hearts of Giraffe
Kasparov - Deep Blue by Dejo
Masked Ball by Toyist Mwano
Pay Your Respect
Puppets on a String by Toyist Mwano 2006
The Lights of the Spare Hare
Two Tribes by Toyist Mwano
Underground Scenes by Toyist Dejo
Woman with no face by Dejo
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The Toyists Paintings
TOYISM ART MOVEMENT 1992 - Present - "Once upon a time, in an Emmen, Netherlands basement, an art movement named "Toyism" was born from one Mother and many fathers." Doesn't that sound like a good story starter? Actually, the time was 1992, Mother is an inanimate object and the fathers may be male or female - but none of these facts detract from the good story part. Here, just listen ...Toyism came about partly as a countermeasure to two decades' worth of that which might be construed as an increasing "anything goes" Post-Modern individualism. The 1970s-1990s environment, that fostered works such as a fleck of human feces on a piece of paper, was long on sensation but often short on traditional skills. Fittingly, Toyism was born in the Netherlands where the time-honored craft of painting never quite went out of fashion.Moeder, which is Dutch for "mother," is the manifesto of the Toyists. Mother's contents are known only to the nine current Toyists, one Toyist emeritus and the notary public who affixed his seal to Mother on April 23, 1993 in Emmen. Do we need to know Mother's contents? We don't. All that is important is that we know three things. 1. Mother provides a framework for creation - specifically, guidelines for the Toyists to follow. 2. Every Toyist's creation is embraced as a new flirtation for Mother.3. Mother was revised in October of 2002 in order to attract younger artists to Toyism.Who are the Toyists?Upon joining the group, each Toyist selects a pseudonym that must begin with a letter of the alphabet not already in use by another Toyist. After this point, and regardless of how one signs his or her rent checks, the artist signs all works with the chosen pseudonym. Why? It's a collective, you see. It's faceless. We fans of Toyism are not meant to single out John Q. Famous Artist or Jane Dough, Media Darling.That said, each Toyist also selects an icon as an identifying mark, and this is represented as a recurring theme in the artist's work. Mr. Dejo, for example, chose a computer as his icon. You'll often see a computer (or boxy shape representative of such) in his paintings.As of this writing, the Toyists consist of nine artists living on four continents. Four of the nine members are female, which is physical proof that the movement means what it says about being inclusive. Seven of the Toyists have had traditional art school training; the other two are autodidacts or self-taught.What are the key characteristics of Toyist art?• All works are narrative, meaning, as is so often said, that "every picture tells a story." • All works are figurative, meaning they depict recognizable objects as opposed to abstractions. • There are distinct outlines in Toyist compositions. Lines of contrasting color, rows of dots and even bands of color containing dots around objects are prevalent. •Colors are bold and distinct from one another, not blended. •Deceptively simple looking at times, Toyist works are not dashed off. They are, rather, heavy on skillful painting technique and craftsmanship. •Themes chosen are common to the human condition. Work, eat, sleep (perchance to dream - there's more than a tinge of the surreal going on here), play, procreate and please, do enjoy life and nature while you're about these things. •Cheery and humorous as its art appears, Toyism is a serious style that, upon closer inspection, often deals with subject matter that may be anything but cheery or humorous.Shelley Esaak
The Toyists: Pixy, Yoza, Iffio, Fihi, Mwano, Jaf'r, Toescat, Roq, Dejo, Knafoe
Special Award in Bird 2005 Beijing
Selected Commissions/collections:
Hotel De Giraf
Notary Kral & Schukken
Aegon Insurrance
Cover NVRV Gids
Delta Lloyd
Rabobank 100 jaar! 1898-1998
Kunstvademecum 2005
Allianz Netherlands Graphic Award 2005
Essent NV Netherlands
Cover Quick Fiction, USA
Van Peer Slaapcomfort
Kaldi Coffee
TDS Schiedam
Royal Goedewaagen
Group Exhibitions:
- A new movement called Toyism was introduced in 1992
- VeenMuseum Emmen
– Art Fair, Utrecht
- Art Fair, The Hague
- Gallery 54, New York
- International Art Gallery Miller, Meppel
- Art Factory, Delft
- Art Fair Doetinchem
– Gallery Bruggebouw, Emmen
– Art Gallery Amsterdam
- Gallery Arto Imago, Uden
- World Fine Art Gallery, New York
- Galerie Erte Art, Dusseldorf
- Barlington Gallery, New York
- Art Rotterdam
- Kunstrai Amsterdam
- Art Fair Antwerp, Belgium
- New Space Art Gallery, Eindhoven
- Robot Art Gallery, San Antonio, Texas
- Gallery Gufang, Beijing China
- Koelsch Gallery - Houston, Texas
- Secret Art - Cincinnatti, USA
Artist's Statement:
In 1992 a group of three, now expanded to ten, artists formed an aesthetic around the idea of toys and play. Rejecting the recent emphasis on ego in art, they wrote a manifesto called "Mother" and used as their watchword, "Art is as changeable as the weather". Their style is figurative, colorful and precise, the images like fragments of a fairy tale. The artists use pseudonyms and masks to hide their true identities, all the while continuing to create work under their real names as well. They are identified with nicknames like "Pixy", "Toescat", and "Alfago". Artists who want to join the group are required to visit the Toyism Studio in Emmen, the Netherlands, before they can be accepted. At present, five Dutch artists, one South African, one Italien and two Americans comprise the group. Since each nickname must begin with a different letter of the alphabet it would appear that twenty-six members will be the limit.
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