Johan Scherft

Leiden, 1970

Johan Scherft was born in 1970 in Leiden, the Netherlands. At an early age he showed great talent in drawing, and also an interest in animals and nature. The birds he observed inspired him at a young age to make birds out of paper, hand-coloured with coloured pencil. With these self-created models, and other drawings, Scherft was accepted to the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. After studying graphic design for two years, Scherft switched majors and began to study free painting and drawing, in which he graduated in 1993. Johan Scherft has been working as a free artist since then, working in various disciplines such as painting, etching, drawing and illustrating. The themes of his oilpaintings are varied, but nature is the most important source of inspiration.The paintings of the 'waterworlds' and the 'treehouses' are made after models of boats and treehouses Scherft creates from paper. The paintings of the 'waterworlds' show a surreal world (at a very small size) in which people and animals are floating on peculiar boats, trying to survive. The treehouses show a romantic world of man in harmony with nature. However the treehouses, like the boats, are fragile and are not meant to last.

Scherft’s latest works are large charcoal drawings  of extinct animals. These drawings have an average size of 6.5 by 6.5 feet. In the drawings Scherft tries to give each prehistoric creature its own expression, and a sense of overwhelming power, making the viewer feel small and vulnerable while looking at them. Video’s of these drawings, and also about his paper art, can be seen on this website and on Youtube.


Work by Johan Scherft has been exhibited many times.

In the past in Gallery 'Petit' in amsterdam, and also other galleries.

Nowadays mainly in Art-gallery 'Lieve Hemel' in Amsterdam, and at the PAN, the art fair for art and antique which take place yearly at the RAI in Amsterdam. Scherft also participated in exhibitions in museum 'De Buitenplaats' in Eelde, and museum 'The Lakenhal' in Leiden. Scherft works and lives in Leiden, the Netherlands. His working place is in a atelier complex just one hundred yards away from the house where Rembrandt was born. Here he can be found daily, working in his studio in a community consisting of artists and small enterprises. 

To contact Johan, click here.