Jan Van Haasteren

Jan Van Haasteren Puzzle Piece

Jan Van Haasteren Puzzle Piece

Solving jigsaw puzzles have been a mainstay in our society for some time now, with an unquantifiable amount of people from all walks of life having engaged in the pastime, one time or another during their lives. Some build jigsaw puzzles by themselves, others with friend and family, as part of good natured social activities and bonding. As with many activities, Jigsaw puzzles have taken on a life of their own, spawning communities of serious hobbyists and enthusiasts who not just solve jigsaws, but also relish collecting various puzzles depicting different works of art. Jigsaw puzzle enthusiast spend their time amassing collections of Hundreds of different puzzle sets, often depicting various works of art-original and otherwise. One would not be remiss to compare collecting jigsaw puzzles to other modern day collectors hobbies such as Baseball Trading Cards or even Coin collecting. Indeed, many Jigsaw enthusiasts long for new jigsaw sets from their favorite artists, elevating the activity from a simple pastime, to an engaging passion. As a result, many Jigsaw Puzzle artists have risen to prominence, being known for their engaging artwork, which is depicted in puzzles.

Jan Van Crowded Puzzle Artwork

Jan Van Haasteren Artwork

Perhaps one of the more famous jigsaw puzzle artists of all time is Jan Van Haasteren, whose works are distinctive and highly popular. Born in the Netherlands, Jan Van Haasteren started his artistic endeavors in a humble manner, initially starting as a house painter, before honing his artistic skills at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. Having decided to follow the advice of his father, Van Haasteren pursued a course of study in Publicity and Advertising, where he would quickly land a job as the assistant to Loek Van Delden on the Smidje Verholen comic strip. Van Haasteren worked under many more notable artists and in various studios, including Toonder Studios, and the studios of Joop Geesink. Eventually Van Haasteren himself rose to prominence where he then started to create his own comic strips with the help of frequent collaborator and script writer Patty Klein. Van Haasteren would eventually find his way to drawing large puzzle sets for prominent game manufacturer Jumbo Games, where his puzzles have gone on to become highly famous world wide.

Crowded Jigsaw Puzzle Scene

Jan Van Haasteren Crowded Puzzle

Van Haasterens art style is distinct for its depictions of crowdedness, with a typical work of art often employing dozens of characters, in various states of activity. Usually, a Van Haasteren work will contain numerous jokes and a healthy dose of subtle social commentary, masked in absurdities and anomalies within the artwork, elevating his depictions from mundane snapshots of everyday life, to biting commentary- the sign of a truly subversive artist. A Jan Van Haasteren puzzle is a joy to own and solve for many jigsaw puzzle enthusiasts, not just for its absurdist, humorous social commentary, but also for the sheer aesthetic brilliance of the artwork depicted. In Fact some avid puzzlers are known to own many different Van Haasteren works in their collection, often times completing the jigsaw, and then proudly putting the work of art up for display. Jigsaw Puzzle enthusiasts will no doubt be on the lookout for the artists trademark- the iconic shark fin inconspicuously hidden in every Van Haasteren artwork. Whether it is a small 10 piece puzzle set or the larger 5000+ piece sets, the loyal fanbase that Van Haasteren has acquired through the years enjoy solving his puzzles; he has managed to transform the act of solving a jigsaw puzzles, from a refreshing yet mundane pastime, to a genuinely joyous passion for many avid jigsaw collectors. For his efforts, Van Haasteren has been awarded numerous prizes and accolades, including being named a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau for his contributions to Dutch comics culture.

A Jan Van Haasteren jigsaw puzzle is the quintessential example of the kind of connective power that the hobby holds on people around the world; families and friends will often sit around a table and spend a relaxing evening solving a Jigsaw puzzle, with Van Haasterens work more than likely being the puzzle that they are tackling for the evening. His works of art, with their mix of social brilliance and artistic bombast, have helped to bring many families and friends together, ensuring that through completing the worlds depicted in his Jigsaw puzzles, we can learn to examine the world around us, with those closest to us.