The great success

In 1973, inspired by the Haarlem art critic Hein Steehouwer poster magnate Engel Verkerke launches the idea of making a poster series of the twelve zodiac signs. Steehouwer advises Johfra to him to make these works. Verkerke closes a for Johfra lucrative contract. This eases the money problems for Johfra and Ellen Lórien.

The size of the twelve paintings are 90 by 60 centimeters, which corresponds to the size of the poster to be issued. The compositions of the paintings are imbued with symbolism. To ensure that the colors stand out well on the posters Johfra paints the pictures in more brighter colors than usual.

For over a year Johfra is working on these twelve paintings. In 1975, the Zodiac Series is integral exhibited at Gallery Kamp (Amsterdam). The owner Walter Kamp has purchased the twelve paintings himself. The art critics have nothing good to say about the work of Johfra, but the audience comes in very large numbers to view the paintings. With the presentation of the Zodiac Series comes a booklet written by Hein Steehouwer: Johfra and the Zodiac.


Aquarius

Pisces

Aries

Taurus


Gemini

Cancer

Leo

Virgo


Libra

Scorpio

BSagittarius

Capricorn

Building on this success posters based on other works by Johfra posters are released also. Kamp Gallery organizes major exhibitions amongst wich the work of Johfra, including at the Art Fair Baseler. Other exhibitors are for example Ernst Fuchs, H.R. Giger, Salvador Dalí, Rudolf Hausner, Wolfgang Hutter, Aat Veldhoen, Diana Vandenberg and Ellen Lórien.

Eventually Johfra experiences the Zodiac Series as a burden. Although he largely owes his reputation to this series, he is placed forever in the corner of esoteric astrology. He struggles with this fact for the rest of his life although he considers his other work of far greater importancy. He sees himself primarily as a nature mystic. With the seven paintings he makes for the Maldoror Series, he hopes to weaken this image, although he has great difficulty with the content of the so-called Bible of the Surrealists, The Chants of Maldoror.