Ralf Kokke’s (b. 1989) paintings are a celebration of the archaic and the universal, embodying the timeless themes of paradise, nature, and the harmonious coexistence of humans, animals, and the divine. Born into a family of dockworkers in the suburbs of Rotterdam, Kokke draws upon his childhood memories and dreams to craft his visions of a world that is both idyllic and fantastical, where the boundaries between reality and imagination are blurred. Inspired by the fairy tales of Peter Pan, Pinocchio, and Sleeping Beauty, Kokke paints from the perspective of a child, capturing the sense of wonder and innocence that is so often lost in adulthood. Yet at the same time, he is acutely aware of the need to grow and mature, to let go of the comfort and safety of the paradise he depicts, and embark on a journey of self-discovery. In his work, Kokke draws upon the archetypes of Carl Jung, the imagery of cave paintings, Egyptian art, and Sumerian art, to create a visual narrative that transcends cultural and historical boundaries. Through his use of universal symbols and themes, Kokke invites the viewer to rediscover the world through the eyes of a child and to be transported to a place where dreams and reality coexist in perfect harmony. In a world where the chaos and turmoil of everyday life can obscure our sense of wonder and magic, Ralf Kokke’s paintings are a reminder of the beauty and potential that lies within us all. Through his art, he invites us to embrace our inner child and to be reborn into a world of imagination and possibility.

 

Solo Exhibitions include (Upcoming) Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2023); Hooked on Neverland, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London, UK (2023); New Swords Are Forged, Eve Leibe Gallery, London, UK (2022); Between A Rock And A Hard Place, Hans Alf Gallery, Denmark (2021); Art Rotterdam, Mondrian Fund, Concepts and Prospects, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2020).

 

Group Exhibitions include Where the Wild Roses Grow, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Schloss Görne, Berlin, Germany (2023); CAN Art Ibiza, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2023); (DontGiveADamns II, Volery Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2023); Where the Wild Roses Grow, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, Schloss Gorne (2023); Celesticore, BREACH, Miami, USA (2023), Art Rotterdam, Gerhard Hofland Galerie (2022); 'Uprising', Schloss Görne, Berlin, Germany (2022); In Momentum, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery, London (2021); Richard Waar, Pictura, Dordrecht, Netherlands (2021); Last Days Of Summer, Eve Leibe Gallery, Milan, Italy (2021); Enter Art Fair, Hans Alf Gallery, Kobenhavn, Denmark (2021); CAVE CANEM, Eve Leibe Gallery, London, UK (2021);WATCHLIST, Galerie Droste, Wuppertal, Germany (2020);OUTBREAK, curated by Wobby.Club, De Pont Museum, Tillburg, Netherlands (2020); Wunderwall, Plue-One Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium (2020); Gallery Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp, Belgium (2020); To Paint Is To Love Again, curated by Olivier Zahm, Nino Mier Gallery, West Hollywood, California (2020); Late Night Pasta, Naarden, Allard Wildenberg Projects, Naarden, Netherlands (2019) (duo show); Universes Show 2, curated by Sasha Bogojev, The Garage Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2019);My Biggest Small, Showhouse JayJay, Antwerp, Belgium (2019); Velvet Ropes, GIFC, Antwerp, Belgium (2019). 

 

Highlights and Collections

In 2022 Ralf Kokke was a finalist for The Royal Award for Modern Painting – the most prestigious painting prize in the Netherlands. In addition, in 2020 Kokke was awarded a Grant from the Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, Netherlands. Kokke has also received a number of residences including a Residency at Van Gogh Huis, Zundert, Netherlands in 2020. His works can be found in important private and public collections which include Dordrecht Museum collection, Van Gogh Huis collection, and the Vietnam Art Collection.