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Brooklyn Street Art

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15 Murals and a Submarine: Amsterdam’s Urban Art Scene Now

Posted on April 21, 2014

We’re very pleased today to take BSA readers to Amsterdam, where the graff/Street Art continuum reaches back more than three decades and where the vibrant scene still remains fresh and relevant right now. We’re very thankful to Ed Little and Alex Pope for taking the initiative to present the scene here for us and to give us valuable context about Amsterdam’s Urban Art Scene. If you don’t know, now you know.

By Ed Little and Alex Pope

Amsterdam has always been progressive in welcoming Urban Art. This March, artwork by Banksy was projected on the Dutch National Museum (the Rijksmuseum), in support of Syrian refugees. More than thirty years earlier, New York graffiti artists such as Seen, Dondi, Blade, Quik, Rammellzee and Futura 2000 were given their first taste of success in the high brow art world by Amsterdam gallery owner Yaki Kornblit. In 1986, Keith Haring did a commissioned mural for the Museum depot. Even before the arrival of the Americans, Amsterdam had a uniquely homegrown punk graffiti scene.

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Fefe Talavera (photo © Ed Little)

By being exposed to the New York artists so early on, Amsterdam graffiti ignited and burned on well into the nineties. Amsterdam writers like Shoe and Delta, along with foreign partners Bando and Mode 2, spread the Crime Time style throughout Europe. In 1992, the city temporarily stopped cleaning subways because of toxic chemicals in the cleaning material. The writers completely took over the subways, creating a scene reminiscent of 1970s New York, as Amsterdam bathed in graffiti euphoria.

Today’s street art and graffiti scene is relatively small, and not pushing the envelope as much as it once was. That is not the say Amsterdam doesn ́t get down anymore. Feast your eyes on a selection of commissioned murals, illegal burners and creative get ups that Amsterdam has to offer.

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Fefe Talavera (photo © Ed Little)

Here is a double header by Brazilian female artist Fefe Talavera, painted as part of the 2012 RUA Festival. The RUA Festival aims to show urban and contemporary Brazilian art next to institutionalized art of museums and galleries. According to the artist, the two heads represent two Indians wearing animal masks. The vibrant tribal color scheme really stands out against the dull grey backdrop, and is a good reminder of what a little bit of paint can do for a building.

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Zed1 (photo © Ed Little)

This is a mural by Italian artist Zed1 at creative hotspot café Roest, home of Max Zorn ́s Stick Together festival. Awesome incorporation of the building window into the depicted scene, which reads as a critique of the current cost of living.

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ETHOS (photo © Ed Little)

Here is another Brazilian mural in Amsterdam, painted by Ethos for the 2011 edition of the RUA Festival. Once again, masks are a big part of the artwork, which fits well with Ethos’ surrealist style. The mural itself functions as an awesome mask for an otherwise pretty shabby looking squat.

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Adnate x Andersen (photo © Ed Little)

Here is Australian artist Adnate along with Morten Andersen from Denmark. Nice clash of Adnate ́s photorealist style of characters and Andersen ́s abstract geometrics. Painted for the Kosmopolite Art Tour, next to an insane burner by Dems UB which unfortunately is no longer there to be seen.

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Vrankrijk (photo © Ed Little)

The legal squat Vrankrijk is one of the focal points of Amsterdam ́s squat scene. The Lichtenstein type BOOM! is a clear representation of Pop Art, which was also used as a vehicle by Fab 5 Freddy to push graffiti into the American higher art sphere in the late seventies.

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Inkie (photo © Ed Little)

Here is a commissioned work by Englishman Inkie from 2012. Painted on what was once an always tagged up parking entrance. The wall on the right was painted later on, as the original was reclaimed by street bombers, who tagged it again within no time, even crossing out the artist ́s website with the word ́toy ́. The Inkie was left untouched, probably out of respect.

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Niels “SHOE” Mulman and Adele Renault (photo © Ed Little)

A good example of calligraffiti here by Amsterdam graffiti legend Shoe. Brushstroked fill in, outlined by black spraypaint. Though Shoe ́s calligraffiti style is so uniquely his, it reminds us of that Amsterdam ́s 1970s punk graffiti feel. Pigeon portrait by Adele Renault, who went on to have a pigeon inspired exhibit at Shoe ́s Unruly Gallery.

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Rammellzee Memorial Wall (photo © Ed Little)

Above is a Rammellzee memorial wall by Shoe and friends from 2010, paying homage to the evo griller. Rammellzee was one of the twelve New York graffiti artists who each had a one month solo exhibit at Yaki Kornblit ́s gallery in the early 1980s and who would inspire Shoe and eventually many other writers worldwide to pursue a career in the streets and the fine arts world.

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The London Police (photo © Ed Little)

Here’s a large London Police commissioned mural on the Prinsengracht canal. Adopted Amsterdammers The London Police paid for their first stay in Amsterdam with t-shirts and art, and have made a comfortable living off their art ever since. The mural is located next to the street oriented Go Gallery, which has an original London Police mural from their earlier Amsterdam days.

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C215 (photo © Ed Little)

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C215 shown here with Kid Acne (photo © Ed Little)

Above are two subtle works by regular French visitor C215. The first one was painted with permission from the same Dutch family that first gave the London Police a roof over their heads. The second one is located near Amsterdam’s NDSM werf hall of fame. C215′s romantic works seem to make icons out of regular folks, which is probably why they are at their best when they are visible in the streets for everyone to see.

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Jorit. Vincent Van Gogh (photo © Ed Little)

Italian-Dutch artist Jorit did this Vincent Van Gogh portrait. The technically very impressive photorealist depiction of Van Gogh didn’t fair well with everybody, as someone gave his 2 cents by writing “Vincent wouldn ́t approve” in the bottom corner. While Jorit’s photorealistic Van Gogh may be very opposite to the subject’s impressionist style, we wanna say that we do approve. Please note that Van Gogh ́s eyeliner was also added by a third party.

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Delta (photo © Ed Little)

Here is an illegal burner by Amsterdam graffiti legend Delta from 2006. When Delta returned to graffiti in the 90s, he blew up big with his 3-D styles, which lead to a very successful career in the arts. Staying true to his roots, he remains active in his hometown streets while killing it in the galleries and even the architectural world.

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ROA (photo © Ed Little)

An early work by international superstar ROA from the mid 2000s; While it is undeniably a ROA, it is awesome to see how his style and eye for detail have developed. It is part of an original mural that also featured Bue the Warrior and Chase. The wall was mostly repainted, but the ROA has been left untouched.

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Leno, Twice and Gear (photo © Ed Little)

Above is some illegal wildstyle graffiti by the most prolific Amsterdam duo of the new millenium, Twice and Gear, along with colorful blockbuster letters by subway and trackside killer Leno on an old submarine nearby the NDSM hall of fame. Bastardillo and Stinkfish are on the bottom as well.

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NEKST tribute. (photo © Ed Little)

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Nekst Tribute (photo © Ed Little)

From Banksy projections to illegal wildstyle graffiti, all of the different aspects of today ́s modern urban art landscape are still a part of Amsterdam ́s creative daily routine. But for a city known for its liberal feel, it would be nice to see Amsterdam embrace urban art even more and reclaim its previous position as ahead of the worldwide pack.  In order to do so, we will always keep an eye on the streets.

 

We thank Alex and Ed for this sharing this good work with BSA readers.

© Text Alex Pope © Photos Ed Little

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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BSA Images Of The Week: 04.20.14

Posted on April 20, 2014

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BSA-Images-Week-Jan2014

It’s Easter! It’s also 4/20! What kind of grass did that bunny leave in your basket this morning?

While you are chewing the chocolate ears off of your new friend you can have look at some of the springtime gifts that have appeared on the streets this week.

Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alice Pasquini, Cern, Hamlet, JC, Jerk Face, Lexi Bella, Mika, Myth, Pyramid Oracle, and Tripel.

Top Image >> Jerk Face for The Bushwick Collective (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cernesto painted this mural last year but were patiently waiting for the Spring to arrive to post the photos. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cernesto. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Cernesto. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Lexi Bella (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Mika (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Myth (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Modern Hamlet. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Detail (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Artist Unknown. Detail. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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JC (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tripel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Tripel (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Pyramid Oracle (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Alice Pasquini in Woodhaven. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Untitled. Brooklyn, NYC. April 2014. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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Kliptown & Soweto in South Africa: Falko, Rasty and Martha Cooper

Posted on April 19, 2014

Today we take you to Kliptown and Soweto in South Africa where we find artists Falko and Rasty collaborating and ethnographer/photographer Martha Cooper capturing the action of the painters, as well as the games and color of the streets.

“Kliptown seems to be stuck in time,” say Pybus of the historic town that retains much of it character but could use help with its infrastructure. “It is situated opposite a historical square and an upmarket hotel in Soweto in the city of Johannesburg. In the 1950′s Kliptown became famous as it is where the Freedom Charter was written, the document that formed the basis of the our current constitution. Now in 2014, it is a somewhat forgotten place across the tracks, filled with families trying to makes ends meet, 100 year old homes and crumbling businesses, but there are splashes of color, street games, youth centers and galleries emerging.”

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Falko at work. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

“Falko and Rasty have lost count of the walls they have painted together, and exchange very few words while they worked.  They both are technical masters of their styles, but don’t get closed off to their environment while painting, always finding a way to befriend the curious passerbys who stop to look,” says Pybus.

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Falko and Rasty collaboration. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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Martha Cooper on the foreground with Falko and Rasty on the background. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

“I witnessed Martha engage with people with so much respect while she searched for the similarities between Sowebo, in Baltimore – her hometown, and Soweto for her latest project Soweto/Sowebo. She shared some of the work she has captured thus far with me while I was visiting her in New York a few weeks ago. It was calming and honest, sensitive and humorous, and revealed that these two places that are worlds apart that are perceived to be so different, are more similar than one realizes – and her anthropological eye is trained to capture the common threads of humanity that intwine us,” Pybus tells us.

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Falko (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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Kliptown, Soweto. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

“On my last day in Soweto as the sun set, the trains started to fill up, so much so that people start riding the front of the cars. South Africa has developed so much in the last 20 years, but while standing in Kliptown one would be forgiven for thinking not much in the way of improvement has been done since its first brick was laid,” says Rowan.

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Someone playing in front of a piece by Lady Aiko (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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A boy walks on the streets of Kliptown wearing a Madiba memorial shirt. The recently passed Nelson Mandela was present here in 1955 at the Kliptown Congress of the People “where the Freedom Charter was adopted as the document which outlined the aims and principles of the anti-Apartheid struggle coalition formed by the Freedom Charter’s authors and signatories.” (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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Two “sunny-side up” from Falko (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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Portrait of Falko covering his face. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

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Neighbors enjoying a popular board game called LUDO. (photo © Rowan Pybus @makhulu_)

As part of a 10 day Social Innovator workshop, a group of artists were invited to Soweto including photographer Martha Cooper(USA), artists Falko (RSA), Rasty(RSA) and Mundano (Brazil).

Thank you to Rowan Pybus @makhulu_ for sharing his images and words  with BSA readers.

 

 

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Please note: All content including images and text are © BrooklynStreetArt.com, unless otherwise noted. We like sharing BSA content for non-commercial purposes as long as you credit the photographer(s) and BSA, include a link to the original article URL and do not remove the photographer’s name from the .jpg file. Otherwise, please refrain from re-posting. Thanks!

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