Joost Swarte (Heemstede, December 24, 1947) started to draw comics at the end of the 1960s, while still studying industrial design. In 1970 he published his first comic book, and from 1971 onwards, he worked for the famous Dutch underground comics magazine Tante Leny Presenteert! Since 1970 he has been writing and drawing comics for children. One example is the nine adventures of Katoen en Pinbal, published in the USA as Hector and Dexter in children’s magazine Measles.
In 1980 he took part in the international comics festival Salon International De La Bande Dessinée in Angoulême, France for the first time. Since then he has gained international recognition and his comics have been translated into English, French, German, Spanish, Catalan and Italian.
He has illustrated on a regular basis for the Dutch weekly Vrij Nederland, and the Belgian weekly Humo.
His comics were published in Raw magazine, founded by Art Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly from the very first issue in 1979. Halfway through the 1980s he switched from drawing mainly comics to illustration and graphic art. He also started designing posters, stamps, logos, typefaces, furniture, objects and even buildings.
In 1996 he presented a plan for a new design of the Toneelschuur, a theater in Haarlem, which he further developed in collaboration with Mecanoo Architects. It was inaugurated in 2003 and is a striking spectacle amid the historical city center’s old buildings.
He is also a music lover and has worked on CDs for singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Fay Lovsky (Jopo In Mono, 1992) and for Arling & Cameron (Sound Shopping, 1998).
For the city hall of Haarlem he designed a carpet with 61 pictograms which tell the history of the city. In 2004 he created an enormous stained glass window (± 100 m2) for the courthouse in Arnhem.
Joost Swarte created 24 statues for the Dutch pavilion garden in the Floriade 2002, an international agricultural exhibition in Hoofddorp.
He has illustrated works by the Dutch writer Nescio.
Joost Swarte is a true promoter of comics. He initiated the Stripdagen Haarlem, a biennial international comic event that took place for the first time in 1992 in Haarlem.
He is the cofounder of publishing house Oog & Blik (Amsterdam), which specializes in comics and graphic art. He is a consultant at publishing house Scratch and was the initiator of international comics magazine Scratches, which, though international in character, lays emphasis on Dutch and Flemish and artists.
He worked on the architectural program for the Hergé Museum in Louvain la Neuve Belgium (architect: Christian de Portzamparc) and on the presentation of the permanent collection.
Joost Swarte is a regular contributor to The New Yorker.
Bistro du Theatre, Eindhoven
Total Design, Amsterdam
Galerie Palisades, Paris
Galerie Quest, Amsterdam
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Sevilla
Frans Halsmuseum, Haarlem
Art Shop, Paleis van Schone Kunsten, Brussels
Parsons School of Design, New York
Institut Néerlandais, Paris
Beursschouwburg, Brussel s
Sala Vinçon, Barcelona
Galerie Lambiek, Amsterdam
Gallerie Desbois, Parijs
Galerie Lumen Travo, Amsterdam
Centre de Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona
Galerie Année, Haarlem
Städtische Galerie, Erlangen
Mois du graphisme, Echirolles
Centre de la Gravure, La Louvière
Musée d'Art Contemporain, Lyon
Grafisch Museum, Groningen
Fostering Arts and Design, Barcelona
ABC architectuurcentrum, Haarlem
Musée Hergé, Louvain la Neuve
Galerie Jacques Glénat, Grenoble
Galerie Champaka, Brussel s
Galerie Ballhaus, Oslo
Galerie Martel, Paris
Comicopolis, Buenos Aires
Society of Illustrators, New York
Galerie Champaka, Brussels
Galerie Martel, Paris
Moving Gallery, Utrecht
Galerie KRUIS-WEG68, Haarlem
Teylers Museum, Haarlem
Prix Saint-Michel, Brussel, best international comic artist
Best Verzorgde Boeken, Plano, Paul Hefting/Joost Swarte
Best Verzorgde Boeken, Jopo in Mono, Fay Lovsky/Joost Swarte
Merit Award from The Art Director's Club for the cover of Nozone nr. 5
Best Verzorgde Boeken, Dichtertje, Nescio
Toneelschuur selected for Architectuur in Nederland, Jaarboek 2003-2004
Accepted the order of Officer of Orange-Nassau.
Poster Amnesty selected for Festival d’Affiches de Chaumont.
Communication Arts Award of Excellence, cover The New Yorker, Summer Reading
Oeuvre prize at comic festival Solliès-Ville.
Barcelona illustration Award
Membership of the Dutch Academy of Patafysica
Junior Library Guild selection, Thrice Told Tales, Catherine Lewis Joost Swarte
Oeuvre prize Olifant Haarlems Dagblad
Membersip of the Alliance Graphique International AGI
World Illustration Award shortlist, cover The New Yorker, Love Stories
Honorary member of Association of Dutch designers BNO
Ambassador of the Illustration Embassy
Oeuvre prize Grand Boum at comic festival Blois