A trip down memory lane
Have you ever seen graffiti in Amsterdam and wondered who the artist behind the image was?
Don’t worry, Go Gallery and Amsterdam Street Art have got you covered.
With a trip down memory lane you will at least see 130 of these artists.
Ranging from the pioneers of the punk graffiti to the young and upcoming artists.
From DIY to NYC.
While many tourists branded Amsterdam as “the most liberal city in the world” it used to be known under a different name; “Graffiti capital of the world”.
It all began in the late 70’s with artists from the punk scene like Hugo Kaagman, Dr.Rat and poet Diana Ozon. They started a hotspot for graffiti writers called “Gallery Anus” were they would distribute their DIY punk zines. From 1980 the gallery would function as an “art walk-in service” under the name OZON, where Kaagman would make stencil art on request.
At the same time Dr.Rat (alias of Ivar Vics) showed his Old English lettering style and signature rat as one of the first writers in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam graffiti was known for its major development in style and it was the first city to exhibit New York writers in Europe.
In 1983 the Yaki Kornblit Gallery invited Blade, Dondi and Quick to hang out with the local writers Shoe, Rhyme and Cat22, this invitation was decisive for a new wave of Amsterdam graffiti.
From the rough early punk tags (1979) to full colored and intensive hiphop style pieces (1983), the city would soon be filled with works of art from “Prikkeldraadje”, Ego, Again, Walking Joint, Fara, ZAP, USA crew and of course the die-hard CBS crew. In the future I will go more in-depth about the history and some of these artists.
Making Amsterdam great again!
So what do you get when the American president-elect isn’t popular and 130 artists are at the same spot?
If you answered; “A 6,5 foot trump-tower with the word cunt on it in various tags” you get rewarded an orange ribbon and a nibble on the ear by Princess Maxima.
On a serious note, street-art (especially in The Netherlands) will always be commenting on issues in today’s society and I respect the Go Gallery a lot for not avoiding the Elephant in the room.
Inside the gallery is a symbiosis of urban art, from 3D lettering to multi-layer stencils as well as intriguing lamps and free hand canvasas, it was shown in perfect harmony all together.
I advise people to visit the show not only for great contemporary-art but also to see a part of history and to get some information about an art-scene that got influenced by this city.
Whether you want to see the established names like Dopie, Kaagman, Rhyme, Inkie or see the artists that are making a big name for themselves today; DHM, Nohablalogica, Ives.one, SjemBakkus, Beazarility (honestly there are too many names to write so just google every name on the flyer cause it’s all amazing) you won’t be dissapointed.
As for myself, it felt really good to be back in Amsterdam after an absence of a year. Seeing so many great artists and friends in one building really gave me the inspiration to pick up painting and graffiti again.
I special thanks to Amsterdam Street Art and Go Gallery for letting me be a part of this great show.
-Ard “5” Doko