Johan Scherft was born in 1970 in Leiden, the Netherlands. At an early age he exposed a talent for 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 colour-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 the 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 created from paper. The paintings of the 'waterworlds' show a surreal world at 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 boast, are fragile and not meant to last.
Scherft’s latest work, are large sized charcoal-drawings of extinct animals. These drawings have an average size of 6.5 feet by 6.5 feet. In the drawings Scherft tried to give each prehistoric creature its own expression, and a sense of overwhelming power, making the viewer feel small and vulnerable when watching them. Video’s of these drawings and also about his paper art are to be seen on Youtube.
Work of Johan Scherft has been shown many times, mainly in Art-gallery Petit in Amsterdam, and the New Realism Stock-exchanges which take place yearly in the Terminal Halls 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 in a complex just a hundred yards away from the house where Rembrandt was born. Here he can be found daily, working in his studio in a community for artists and small enterprises.