Amsterdam Graffiti

Every city in the world has it’s own element of graffiti or street art, but not all places embrace it in the way that Amsterdam seems to have done.

Is it quirky, cool, hip – all the traits the city seems to embody – yes, is it a fad, well yes, I think it is, but a fun one – it’s been around for ages and when it’s done well, it’s bloody impressive.

What irks me are the brats that spray paint nothingness in beautiful places.

Back on point: What really amazed me about the graffiti and street art in Amsterdam, other than the high quality, was the way it was embraced. Boards that covered buildings, that in many places would be deemed unusable after being ‘defaced’ were being taken down and redistributed for the next jobs.

Recycled Graffiti boards outside our hotel 

Also, the people of Amsterdam seemed to integrate the urban art culture by adding it into their lives, for examples on to their bikes or even their shops. Recycling to the extreme.

It seems when you try to fight it, you get less beautiful art, more tat on beautiful walls, but welcome the culture with open arms and then just wait until we run out of space to care.

In Scotland there is something called the Graffiti Project. They have gone to Kelburn Castle and let one huge section become a huge urban art project. I’ve heard they have some parties there, dj’s and the lot.


The idea is simple and original: take the vibrant and often transient art form of Brazilian graffiti out of its predominantly urban context and apply it to the ancient and permanent walls of an historic rural castle in Scotland.The project will involve the artists and organizers living together in the Castle for approximately one month, documented by various forms of media. The artists will have time to share and explore new ideas, from both sides of the equator, culminating in a one-off, giant piece of collaborative art.

Kelburn Castle, Scotland