Graffitis in Amsterdam Noord.

Continuing my series of articles about Amsterdam, I will show some graffiti’s that I saw in Amsterdam Noord. Invited by the product designer Lex Poot, who has a studio there ( I will talk about him in my next post) we left downtown Amsterdam and took for free, btw a boat to NDSM Werf.

The NDSM is an old shipyard on the shore of IJ North of Amsterdam, that was closed down in 1984 when the ship industry started to move out of Holland. Now the place is the center of subculture in Amsterdam.

The patio measures 84.000m2, the equivalent of 10 football fields.  It hosts the NDSM barn, with the area of 20.000m2 and 20 meters high, where 250 artists work with visual arts, design, theatre, cinema, media and architecture

The pear NDSM is the home of several artistic disciplines and crafts, it’s a refuge for artists and individual crafts, for known and less know artists, independent organizations that work together and inspire each other expecting that new initiatives arise.

With a lot of space for creative minds, of course that there’s a lot of graffitti, bringing colors, contrast and inspiring messages for this incredible place.

I Amsterdam!

All pictures by Maria Fernanda

Prague 3 – Sub-Culture 

I was trying to buy tickets to watch Mozart’s Opera, specially composed for Prague, the “Operas of Operas” Don Giovanni in 1787 presented by the traditional Marionettes, when I heard “unlucky” that the presentation for that night had been canceled.

So I went for a walk around the old Prague waiting for the time to watch one gig of progressive jazz that would happen at the Jazz Doc four hours later. It had been a long day, the temperature was -12 with a lot of snow and I had walked for hours. I was definitely tired.

The universe always reserve us good surprises If we learn with patience how to read or understand the doors that some times are closed to us. The result is that we chose a discrete pub to wait for the show and I had the amazing surprise when I realized that that pub would reveal me a universe of the power of graffiti.

In the first moment I felt everything looked like a big mess, one mix of graffiti and uncomprehensive messages. But the good music that was playing, the under-ground environment and the art on the walls (yes, this place is a pub and also a art gallery) abducted me to that language.

I had the pleasure to talk with locals, also spoke with Daniel Krejbich, an artist that I will have the honour to write about in my next Prague article. I was having a beer and reading a book on the work of Roy Lichtenstein in that cozy pub, reading about his creative process during all his career and suddenly all that graffiti crowded on the walls was opening in front of my eyes and turning the messages into individual histories. That were political and cultural expressions, creative thoughts and little jokes, was impossible to count how many messages were there, but believe me there were a lot.

I felt in that moment that was impossible to not get connected to the language. That specific language were used by the youth Czechs to express themselves through graffiti and art. Somehow it feels like deeply connected to the writings on Lennon Wall.

According to the manager, about 10 years, after he painted a stencil of Motorhead,  the customers started to write on the wall and after that it never stopped. Exactly the same way how it happened at Lennon Wall.

In resume, I thought it was sad to miss the opera that I was dreaming to see but after I realized that was a delightful experience to spend a few hours immersed in this sub-cultural pub and how motivated it was for me to keep writing in this blog.

And Yes, to finish my long day one incredible gig of progressive jazz in a newly-built modern building, as yet in Prague and most likely in central Europe, non-existent concept.

All pictures by Maria Fernanda