An interview with the old school graffiti writer from Amsterdam, known for his consistency and legacy he built throughout the years. He shares his personal story , views and experiences around chrome graffiti.
When and where did you start writing?
In 1983 I became captivated by graffiti because I was impressed by its powerful appearance, graffiti looked rude but also quite stylish. A remarkable combination, it was creative vandalism.
Where did you get your influence from?
The freedom and anarchistic atmosphere in Amsterdam was a great source of inspiration. Punks were squatting houses and street riots were part of daily life in the city.
I wanted to be a street warrior as well. The problem was that I was eleven years old without a mohawk and no molotov cocktails, so hiding behind a hardcore tag name was a pretty good replacement.
What was graffiti like back in the days and how did it change throughout the years?
In the years before 1984, Amsterdam had its unique graffiti concept that was invented and shared by its participants. It certainly looked different than the well known New York stuff. Back then the idea was to come up with a cool name and turn it into a kind of logo signature. It was then painted on as many streets and trams as possible.
Amsterdam graffiti was hard and it was all over the place. Residents did not know how to deal with it, they hated the graffiti on their property. Then in 1984 it transitioned to the beloved New York style. The logo tags made place for fresh pieces. This fast change of style was spectacular and for many writers life changing. So you could say that in the 80s, Amsterdam was the most vibrant graffiti city of Europe.
I described this insane era in depth in my book ‘Amsterdam on Tour, the Early Signs of Dutch Graffiti’ @amsterdamontour
Why do you use chrome?
It stands out and emphasises the shape of the letter. The opacity power of chrome also comes in handy. These characteristics are of course very suitable for illegal action. There have been years when I only made chrome pieces, no color was involved. Those nights were great, it was quick satisfaction. Big fun with big letters.
What was your craziest experience ?
My craziest experience must have been my 40 years of non-stop bombing.