José Montoya (1979, Colombia) is a visual artist based in Amsterdam. 

Marked with the acts of paper folding, cutting and pasting, Montoya works intuitively to create his colorful ‘paper paintings’. His works are inspired by ideas of light and space which he then characterises through use of monochromatic colours, repetition, seriality and the directness of the materials he uses.

Within his art practice he has been inspired by the Zero-movement and Brutalism - an architectural movement characterised by block-like, geometrical shapes.

 José Montoya artwork
I was fascinated by the idea that an artwork would change depending on the light and the location where it would be placed.

‘We all have experience of folding and cutting and pasting as a child. I see the beauty in this simplicity. The straightforwardness of these techniques enables me to work intuitively. Minimising distractions between an idea and its execution. My work is abstract. I have no pre-conceived idea about what it is or should become, my sole purpose is working to fit a new shape into an old framework’.

Great ideas fail. Failures become great ideas.
 José Montoya De Knutselhoek

Montoya’s studio 'De Knutselhoek', is a tribute to the creative corner you would find in kindergarten. A place where, as a child, he could freely practice, create and get his hands dirty. This childlike playfulness is Montoya's foundation to create as freely as possible.

De Knutselhoek is part of the cultural breeding place ACTA, online here

 José Montoya De Knutselhoek kunst art

‘Due to circumstances I had to move, and so it happened that I came to live in a small room on the third floor of a student flat. My new home looked like a shoebox with a window. I decided that I could only live there if I would look out of my window often enough. That same sense of escape is what I'm looking for in art.’

Room to forget what I already knew,
room to think about what it can be.
 José Montoya De Knutselhoek kunst art
My wish is to exhibit my work in Japan. This desire is about following my hart to the unknown.


1979 - 1989: As a child he wanted to be an illustrator.

1989 - 1999: As a teenager he learned to work with computer programs at the Grafisch Lyceum Amsterdam (school for Graphic Design).

1999 - 2009: In his twenties he worked as an autodidact stage performer, until he graduated in Theater and Education at the Higher School of Arts Utrecht. 

2009 - 2017: In his thirties, during a Coaching study, he realized he had to pay more attention to his inner child. Ever since he works as a visual artist.

 José Montoya De Knutselhoek kunst art