Niko van der Klugt

Autonomous artist in Digital Art / Lightdesigner

Zuidveen, Netherlands
Niko van der Klugt (Amsterdam, 1954) is a autonomous artist. He has worked as an independent lighting designer since 1989 and did theater and modern dance productions – either in theatre’s or on location, on both national and international assignments -, events, museums, exhibitions and architectural projects. His works include projects for the Railway Museum Utrecht and National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam, which has been reopened in October 2011. As he was fascinated by light over the years, he found new ways to express himself in a different art form; converting spatial light into photographic images.

Niko van der Klugt focuses within his photography on the making of 'Digital (Light) Paintings'. These works consist of an amalgamation of his own photographs, carefully build up layer by layer into a unique universe. Photography that goes further than photography only.

Digital Imaging
I work as a painter. Figurative, but mainly abstract. What I don't need is a studio with diffuse Northern light, no tubes of paint. The computer is my canvas, the mouse my brush.
I paint as a painter, with the required software as a binding agent.

My work is technically derived from two different media; the computer and photography.
I use my photography as basic for all my final images and use the computer as an artistic tool. This gives me the opportunity to make optimal use of the digital techniques; but still create an emotional expression.

The initial creation of an image is not the end; it is the start of a series of manipulations, layer by layer, picture for picture. The last, final image is far removed from the first file,
but holds a hidden truth within it, which should be examined / experienced by the viewer /spectator. The question arises, how do you start this and where does the process end?

I usually start from a certain point, that gives me direction, a theme. That can lead me anywhere but the outcome is often unpredictable. Partly due to the working technique,
that lets you experiment and makes things happen that otherwise never would have occurred. It is a creative process that offers me a way of working and has given the freedom to go beyond limits. It is a process without rules.

Eventually I am able to make use of the computer in an intuitive way but I know where I must finish. Much of my work have references, echoes to light, theatricality, graphic and other artistic ideas or philosophies.

They are not arbitrarily structured images, I work as a painter, layer by layer.
I create digital paintings written with light.

I have always been fascinated and inspired by diverse works and artists like, Julian Schnabel,
Mark Rothko, James Turrel, Franco Fontana, David Carson, Pollock, Anton Beeke,
Grahame Sydney, Karim Rashid, Joan Grimonprez, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and
Estado Ando.

The real inspiration is however, work, work and create.

Work Experience

Niko Van Der Klugt

independend lighting designer

August 1989 - October 2011 Netherlands


Graphic Design

Amsterdam, Netherlands


Dutch (Fluent),
English (Fluent),
German (Beginner),


Digital Photography, Digital Imaging, Lightdesgin,