The international LoveLetters graffiti crew created a massive piece at the 4th edition of Kings Spray, a festival curated by Street Art Today. The artwork is now on display at the NDSM Urban Arts Square in Amsterdam-Noord, together with the other installations made during Kings Spray.
The LoveLetters Crew was founded in 2006 by Nash and Does, quickly joined by Tumki and Chas. Over the years it expanded rapidly and today it counts eleven members. Each crew member is a master in his own expertise, and they all come together in impressive productions.
When they started out the crew, all the artists shared a similar idea of what graffiti should be: they used the same techniques and they had a similar style, based on a strong focus on details. As the years passed by and each member started to develop his own style, their unique mix of interests became what makes them stand out. Their deep passion for letters, though, is still at the core of the crew.
Chas: For us, graffiti is about letters. We love the letters, we still do, hence the name of our crew. Developing the style of our letters is the most important thing.
Since they live in different cities, and in some cases also in different countries, it is not so common that they produce massive pieces together, as they did for Kings Spray 2019.
Chas: “Moreover, when we paint together at festivals, usually everybody does his own thing. Of course we talk about the colors beforehand, but that’s it. It means that, usually, we don’t have a properly worked-out background. For Kings Spray 2019, instead, we worked as a team. We exchanged a lot of ideas -and images- before the festival, we planned the composition and, after having sketched up the piece, we first worked on the background. This is something quite unusual: normally everybody is focused on his own part and, when that is finished, the motivation is always a bit lower. Graffiti is an ego game, while painting the background is ‘team work’. Usually the motivation for your own piece is a lot higher than for the team part: it’s hard to get six people on the same page, working at the same thing. That’s what we accomplished here!”
With six members in full swing, the established crew painted an oceanic scenario that mixes name writing graffiti with two stunning characters – a pirate and a shark – standing out from the grim background of a stormy sea.
Chas: “The piece is inspired by Aruban folklore stories on pirate adventures: we did a pirate-themed piece with crazy pirates and crazy sharks on a background of sunken pirate ships. It’s been a long time doing such a big production together. It felt good to do a big wall with a massive background. We all worked as a team on this: that’s the nicest feeling”
Being a true graffiti artist, letters have always been at the core of Chas‘ work. Letters that have evolved, become transparent, and merged with the wild background they are painted on. Chas sees graffiti as Love for Letters.
This Dutch OG of graffiti has been active for over 30 years in the Netherlands and abroad. Nash‘s work, with great shading and bright color highlights, can be described as a unique blend of realism and cartoons with a distinct B-boy flavor.
He began painting in the summer of 1994, inspired by walls and graffiti that he saw on the railway lines in Amsterdam and Paris. Pioneer of the graffiti scene in Turin, Reser is now bringing his unique style all around Europe.
In 1994, Dater made his first experiences with graffiti and breakdance. His letters are characterized by cleanliness and dynamism, always shaping his moniker in his own style.
The moment he painted his first piece in ‘00 he was hooked instantly and never stopped painting since. Puak focuses mainly on letter shapes and color combinations. He always tries to find the right mix between technicality and loose typography.
French graffiti artist Nilko‘s characters are heavily inspired by comics. Having arrived one day later than the other members of the crew, he got the trickiest spot of the installation and yet his shark turned out truly spectacular.
LoveLetter’s artwork is now visible on the newly formed NDSM Urban Arts Square in Amsterdam-Noord.
Header by Martine Kiers.
Watch the aftermovie of Kings Spray Festival 2019
Many thanks to our partners and friends: IJ-hallen, Aruba Tourism, Stichting NDSM, Montana Cans, Groove Proof DJ Bus, Old Boys on Vinyl, Papa Tio and all volunteers.