April 29, 2021

Throwback Thursday: Commercial Graffiti.

Shop graffiti, Amsterdam 8/23/86

In Amsterdam, a city famous for Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh, you might graffiti would be the ultimate insult to art. But no, Amsterdam embraced Graffiti as modern art and became somewhat of the Tagging Capitol of Europe. In 2007, the mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen, during an official event, pulled out the golden spray can to tag a large public graffiti work. There’s even a Street Art Museum.

Back in the ’80s, there were so many tagging crews in Amsterdam, it seems the cops gave up. Shop owners added rolling steel security doors, in part, to keep artists from tagging their windows. But they soon discovered what great canvases steel doors made. Sissy-Boy, an upscale clothing chain, decided to embrace the scene and hired an artist to paint their rolling door. Since the first commandment of graffiti is “Thou shalt not tag over the work of others”, this gave the store control over what was painted on their door. And should a rogue violate the credo, the original artist just came back and touched upon their work as a matter of pride.

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Learn how this photo was copied from a 35mm Kodachrome slide with a Moment 10x Macro lens and an iPhone.

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