Johfra Bosschart - The Adoration of Pan (1979)
Written by Koos Weel - Pathos Gallery
Google Johfra and you will find an endless stream of world famous artworks. Many communities write about the major influence Johfra Bosschart has had over the world. From Colombia to Australia, from The United States to his home country The Netherlands. Although many people will recognize the zodiac paintings that have been published as posters in the 70’s, not everyone knows about the absolute pioneer of fantastic realism in The Netherlands and his mind boggling oeuvre. And there is a good reason for it. Not only has the artist struggled with his underdog status all the way up to his death in 1998, but the biggest Johfra collection in the world has stayed hidden in storage for decades.
Johfra, Midnight mystery, Oil on panel - 69 x 100 cm, 1971.
Viktor Safonkin, H.R. Giger and Rardy van Soest in Gruyères at the H.R. Giger Museum.
Johfra & Van Soest, 1997, The Netherlands.
It is wonderful to see that Johfra’s art has found a new audience and is being talked about internationally. Occult, Fantasy and Sci-Fi lovers around the world are re-discovering his works and are realizing the impact his art has had on movies, comics, videogames and on contemporary art in general.
I am one of those Johfra lovers. After studying art history and working in the art world for around 10 years I met Van Soest in person. Although his collection does not fit into the traditional art world, I was completely captivated by the amazing artworks he has gathered. Names like HR Giger, Safonkin, Kostetsky, Beksinski and of course Johfra. He made clear to me that he had tried to create a museum for his collection numerous times but at the same time had some serious setbacks when it comes to his personal health. I have spent days talking to Van Soest about the artworks but especially about the endless source of wild stories about the artists he forged a personal relationship with. For Van Soest the collection as it stands today is complete by having published the catalog. He sees it as a manifestation of his life work. He is ready to pass it on and is looking to sell the entire collection as a whole and is hoping an investor will make sure it ends up in a place where the public can enjoy a curated selection of imaginary realism. That means the biggest Johfra Bosschart collection in the world is looking for a new home.
Koos Weel - Pathos Gallery
Johfra - Psychological self-portrait - Oil on panel - 53 x 70 cm, 1996.
The painting that was salvaged from the ruins of Johfra's home in the second world war. Johfra, De Liervogel / The Lyrebird, Oil on panel, 70 x 50 cm, 1943.
Artist and Collection Resources
Gallery representing the Collection Pathosgallery.com