This King’s Day a staggering line-up of renowned graffiti and street artists will transform four container-installations into urban artworks. ZEDZ, Mick La Rock, New York legend Blade ‘the King of Graffiti’ and many other artists are joining the party at the NDSM-shipyard in the North of Amsterdam. And like a proper birthday party, there will also be music, food, workshops for aspiring graffiti writers, educational tours and an interactive photo contest!
At its 4th edition this year, Kings Spray is a graffiti culture event that takes place on Dutch King’s birthday. National, local and international street artists and graffiti writers will paint on container-installations scattered around NDSM Wharf, right in front of the soon-to-be-open international street art and graffiti museum.
Kings Spray 2019: Artists line-up revealed!
On King’s Day, we are honored to host in Amsterdam the King: New York legend Blade (US) who, in just one decade, hit more than 5000 trains, thus earning the title of ‘King of Graffiti’. Blade is one of the forefathers of the graffiti movement, which he definitely contributed to shape. He began painting trains (or better: ‘whole cars’, which were his specialty) back in the 1970s in New York City. He is credited with developing several classic graffiti styles, such as overlapping 3D letters and Blockbusters. His personal style, which mixes characters, lettering and abstract forms, has inspired generations of graffiti writers. Blade will paint the container-installation dedicated to New York graffiti alongside his long-time friends SOY (CH) and DOM1 (UK)
Next to them, Malakkai (ES) and the graffiti duo Karski & Beyond (NL) will join forces to paint a tribute to another King, Spanish graffiti artist Treze, who sadly passed away last year. Malakkai’s colorful yet soft style recalling watercolors will mix with the vivid color combination of the realistic murals by the Dutch duo.
Local King ZEDZ (NL) will paint one of his characteristic artworks of abstract typography, where letters became symbols over decades of pushing and pulling the borders of graffiti. The abstract theme will be further developed by the duo Graphic Surgery (NL), whose monochromatic shapes highlight collision of analogue and digital technology.
Through this year’s collaboration with Aruba, we will tell the story of the Kings of the sea: the pirates of the Aruban! A master of visual storytelling will develop this visionary theme: Rasmus Balstrøm (DK), a graffiti artist well known for his vivid style and realistic characters, whose murals convey a strong energy that unfolds from the wall to the viewers.
The maritime crew of Aruban Pirates will also be part of the large mural painted by Love Letters (NL, IT, FR, DE). Founded in 2006, the graffiti crew Love Letters is made of 11 graffiti artists, each one mastering his own ‘specialty’, although every Loveletters’ collaborative piece is greater than the sum of its parts. We invited to Kings Spray 2019 six members of the Love Letters crew: Chas, who is one of the founders; Nash, who specializes in cartoon-inspired characters; Puak with his strong color combinations; the French Nilko, whose characters are inspired by his love for comics; the German Dater, who specializes in wild-style graffiti; and the Italian Reser, who enjoys to try different styles quite often.
But what about the Queen? We do have it covered! We invited to Kings Spray 2019 one of the most influential figures in the Dutch graffiti scene: Mick La Rock (NL). Mick began hitting the streets in the 1980s, when there were very few female graffiti artists around. She had an international career as visual artist, alongside curating many exhibitions and projects related with street art and graffiti, among which the recent renovation of Keith Haring’s mural in Amsterdam. Finally, all these experiences brought her to be part of Amsterdam’s ‘citycuratorium’: a commission of specialist safeguarding and promoting public art in the city. Mick La Rock will paint next to Amsterdam’s graffiti artist Jake One (NL), who has been active since the early 1980s.
The fourth container-installation will probably be the most colorful: Cix Mugre (MX)’s pop-psychedelic style, which relies on the bright and vibrant color palette that is typical of Mexican art, will paint next to Pipsqueak Was Here!!!’s (NL) multicolored stencils.
In the middle of these installations, the socially active artist collective United Painting (NL) will realize a large-scale, flay-lay artwork with the help of refugees.
Last but not least, at the so-called “Aruba Art Square” Garrick Marchena (Aruba) will join forces with fellow Caribbean street artist Robert Solognier (Aruba) to paint a large-scale piece inspired by the ancient Aruban cave paintings and local fauna! The two artists will be also leading a workshop on cave painting for children of all ages on Saturday 27th!
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Kings Spray 2019: A full day of fun!
Live paintings will go on from 11 to 17: come and meet the kings at NDSM!
Music will start at 12: come and enjoy the Aruban vibes of DJ Djarzino until 14, followed by the rusty vinyls of the Dutch collective Old Boys on Vinyl (from 14 to 16).
Two educational tours will walk you through the artworks of Kings Spray 2019 as they are being created! You can either join the tour in English (at 12:00) or the tour in Dutch (at 15:00)
Children can relish their creativity both through a graffiti workshop and a cave painting workshop! Workshops will be running no-stop from 12 to 17.