A Creative Bunch of People who SHOW their Art as a Collective
Toyism is a contemporary art movement that originated in the 1990s in the Netherlands. The word symbolises the playful character of our artworks and the philosophy behind it. And the suffix ‘ism’ refers to motion or movements. The game of toyism is a serious matter that shows a new, critical and sensitive perspective on our present-day world.
We 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 we 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 we work together, which means that the produced artwork cannot be attributed to a single artist.
Our secret manifesto Mother (written by Dejo) contains a palette of ingredients from which mainly paintings, but lately also sculptures, silkscreens, jewelry and glass art emerge. The manifesto is only meant to be read by the attending artists. The artworks can be seen as children of Mother and one or more parents (the artists). A parent can be either a man or a woman, or even more artists representing one parent next to Mother. This can be established because of the anonymous characteristics of the parents. Every parent mixes ideas and characteristics with properties of Mother. This strongly connects the children, after all they arose from Mother.
What WE do
We focuse only on our creations, in which we leave our mark in the world as individuals, but we don’t reveal our identities. Each toyist picks one letter from the alphabet and creates a name for him/herself beginning with that letter. Therefore each toyist is known under a pseudonym and there can never be more than 26 toyists. That is why we always wear masks (when pictures are taken or cameras are present) whenever we are working on a particular project.
WHAT MAKES TOYISM DIFFERENT TO OTHER STYLES
First of all: VISUAL GRAMMATIC. This makes Toyism different, giving the style so many possibilities.
Surrealism doesn not have a good visual grammatic. Cubism has.
Let's take a Braque painting and the False Mirror from Rene Magritte. Now cut out a small piece from the Magritte painting, only with the clouds in the eye. If you see only this small fragment you can't say it's a surrealist painting, because you'll see only some clouds. You don't have a context. But cut out a small piece from a Braque painting. You can see that is a cubist painting. You can cut out any fragment from a toyist painting and you can recognize it as toyism.
The visual grammatic is very obvious.
So since toyism has a visual grammatic it can incorporate a surrealist theme. That's why people ask us about surrealism or street art in toyism, because toyism can incorporate them.
Toyists can make: toyism abstract paintings; toyism street art paintings or toyism surrealist paintings.
Toyists can make: ready-made; toyists can make happening; toyists can make a theatrical play, all in the toyism style.
Toyists can make everything art, and in many different styles because of the visual grammatic.