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“Shoe” is His Middle Name: New Book by Niels Shoe Meulman

Posted on February 1, 2017

“They both see words as images,” says Shoe about graffiti writers and Medieval scribes in a 2013 interview with the BBC. His latest tome extrapolates this reverence for the letterform, an obsessive repetitive family of gestures, now often abstracted, that the artist first stumbled upon as a pre-teen in the late 1970s.  Since those days he became known as graffiti artist, painter, designer, writer, calligrapher. Here is where it comes together.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

“Shoe is My Middle Name” is the fourth publication by Niels Shoe Meulman and one that expands, amalgamates, solidifies his influences, mistakes, discoveries; forging a unique voice that is his own. Sometimes identified with Calligraffiti, but there is so much more to it; now the smudge and the smoke and the splatter has lead him in other directions, from supple and savvy wrist turning small scale to full-body massively immersive gestural painting.

Whether it is a push broom on a roof or a brush on mottled papyrus or the masterful swoop and turn of the squeegee, Shoe knows that there are no half steps once the liquefied pigment hits the surface. A commitment has been made.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

A large coffee table book with a unifying cerulean wash / black two-tone pointillist screen motif throughout, the story of his many exploits is moderated with poetry and outtakes of reviews by or observations by the artist. In one descriptive passage about his work “The Secret Ingredient”, the Amsterdam lifer who has traveled the world says it required “a perfect mix of intuition, imagination, courage and madness.”

Carlo McCormick writes in his essay, “We honor Shoe as the great cross-pollinator who came to New York City as a kid to meet the graffiti master Dondi and brought Wild Style back to Europe, but his strength remains just how far he can still can carry this immoderate load.” Based on his path and his evolution, we’ll consider this beautiful monster to be is mid-career retrospective and some of his most masterful work to come.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

“DID TUNNELS IN PARIS
THAT WALL IN BERLIN
DID ACID IN BROOKLYN
ALL WITHOUT SIN

DID ROOFTOPS IN LONDON
IN MUNICH SOME TIME
DID TRAMLINES AND STATIONS
NO LIFE WITHOUT CRIME

DID TRAINS IN THE BRONX
TAGS ON A PLANE
DID MURALS IN DELHI
ALL WITHOUT SHAME

DID LECTURES IN DUBLIN
GOT CHASED BY CHINESE
DID EXHIBITS DOWN UNDER
AND IN LOS ANGELES”

From “A Writer’s Song” by Niels Shoe Meulman

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

Niels Shoe Meulman Shoe Is My Middle Name Lebowski Publishers, Amsterdam 2016.

 

All photos of the book’s plates © Jaime Rojo


Niels Shoe Meulman “Shoe Is My Middle Name” is published by Lebowski Publishers / Overamstel. Amsterdam, 2016. Click HERE for more information.

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