Bier en Brood (translation: Beer and Bread) are two artists, consisting of Koen Harmsma and Jelmer Noordeman. They have known each other from back in the days when they were studying Art Illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. Bier en Brood (a nod to water and bread) used to be a big group of creative people that shared their inspirations with each other. Koen and Jelmer were the once that stayed together, and have been sharing a studio in Rotterdam for the past 10 years.
In the early years Bier en Brood used a lot of different colors, but the last couple of years Bier en Brood switched to black and white, which became their trademark. In general, these black and white walls appear to have a bit of a sinister and apocalyptic character. Koen explains that they switched to black and white because it gives the paintings a rougher impression. Besides that, it is more challenging to tell a story with fewer colors. In general, they only use black, white and grey. Sometimes one additional color for a little spot on the wall.
The detailed work of Bier en Brood is mainly inspired by machines, nature and architecture. Besides that, their inspiration comes from pop-art and the comics of “Storms”. Soon Bier en Brood will be part of Kings Spray, on Kings Day, that is organized by Street Art Today at the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam! They are not only a prominent name in the Dutch street art scene, internationally their star is rising as well.
Besides their characteristic black and white walls, Bier en Brood keeps creating new forms of art. At the moment Koen is working on making installations based on their detailed drawings of cities. At the Sober Street Art Exhibition Koen showed me one of his installations, that is based on a painting of The Hague, his home town.