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We all are driven by our own personal goals. In my work I am seeking a contemporary interpretation of the past by reprocessing historic images, objects and emotions, interpreting them through a personalised process of painting with acrylic paint, spray paint and tufting with yarn.

I am basically searching for what makes people do what they do. Logically I can understand the past but am still left with a desire to understand how it all came about. My work has many facets, and each part is an important symbol for something else. For me, my art represents contemporary icons presented as meditative images for contemplation of the past, attempting to make the unknowable, knowable. 

Over the years I have been drawing influence from artists like Jan Dibbet, Sol Lewitt, Lawrence Weiner, Pablo Picasso, Jan Matejko, and Francisco Goya and more recently from urban artists like Shepard Fairey, Banksy, and the duo Pichiavo. Artists with differing styles and from different periods but each of them creates visual experiences that partly explain either their present, or their past.

the artist Antoon Knaap
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Born in 1960's Amsterdam, Antoon Knaap grew up in tumultuous times. The cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s made Amsterdam the magical centre of Europe. ​Following a career in finance, he moved to Ireland early 1990's where he started his own business and became an avid woodworker. In the aftermath of the economic crisis he moved to Spain, where helped by the Sun he rediscovered his love for painting. End 2014 he returned to Ireland. Guess the Rain was more appealing than the Sun....

Currently based in Maynooth, in the Republic of Ireland, Antoon Knaap is a visual artist who makes figurative art from the head and abstract art from the heart. Over the years his figurative and abstract work has increasingly been bleeding into each other, leaving us with an expectation of things to come. Interpolating and blending the lines from his historical figurative work and his more abstract geometric leads us towards a future of more conceptual abstract while historical. Time will tell.

Working with acrylic paint, spray paint and yarns, Antoon visually expresses encounters between past events and the moment they are translated to the canvas. He often uses street art, geometrical shapes, Celtic knots and symbols to represent channels for understanding the past, the experience of suffering or joy, and the feelings of the heart.


His vibrant colours create modern icons that connect the visible world with those of time dimensions gone by. Antoon’s work has been displayed in galleries, on the railings of Dublin’s Merrion Square. Art fairs, as well as the homes of private collectors internationally. His work has been featured in countless local publications in print and online.

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