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About Henk Montijn

The Montijn family has their roots in the French Pyrenees. Around 1670 the family settled in Oudewater (Holland) as huguenots. From there, the Montijn family branched out. Well known members of the family are Jan Montijn (writer and artist), P. Montijn (President Director of Shell) and J.F.L. Montijn (author of the Latin dictionary). Henk is the youngest descendant of an artistic family. Even though he developed his creativity quite early, he found his calling as a painter after some remarkable detours.

Henk Montijn was born in Dordrecht, in 1961. Sadly, both of his parents passed away much too early. Henk grew up as an only child in Rotterdam Ommoord. Having a bit of a rebellious character, Henk went from high school to high school. After studying engineering, Henk chose a creative profession, instead of becoming a construction draftsman. This meant no technical profession for him, unlike his father, Ir. Theo Montijn, who also worked for Shell and later on for United Nations in Vienna. Henk enrolled at the Grafisch Lyceum (Graphic Lyceum) in Utrecht. There he learned all about advertising, where he specialised in graphic design and illustration. For quite a while, the advertising world seemed the right place for Henk. After employment with several advertising agencies, Henk went on to start his own agency in the eighties.

This marked the start of some very wild years. His agency soon made millions in turnover, which led to a turbulent period, marked by partying, drinking and doing drugs. Henk was even a fugitive for a whole year, in Brazil in 2009, due to negligence by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He came back to Holland penniless. These events have changed and shaped Henk’s vision on life. They awakened the dormant artist inside him. He decided to turn his life around, say farewell to advertising and become a painter.

In the meantime, Henks has been a painter for many years. While painting, he is guided by emotion. Montijn Art’s painting doesn’t aim to be realistic. When it’s abstract, it can be anything, it is in the eye of the beholder and will never become boring. Everyone sees what they see, and that’s Henk’s intention. After years of creating realistic illustrations in the advertising industry, Henk decided to only let his emotions speak. The result? Expressive, abstract and figurative art with a versatile style.