Maynard’s Street Art Obsession – Amsterdam

Stork and Lion - Piece

It is only fitting that my first post for Street Art is on Amsterdam. After all, Amsterdam is the city that I first became enthralled with Street Art in. On my first visit, I stumbled upon a section of town seemingly devoted to Street Art, and I have been admiring and photographing it ever since.  It’s just one of those things that I have always been interested in, especially to see the differences from country to country. I am not a fan of tagging, nor carelessly scrolling your initials on a freeway sign; to me, that feels more like littering than anything.  There are a couple of different forms of Street Art, and most of them are paint based. Here is a quick breakdown of the types for you to reference:

Character – typically a cartoonish or real character that serves as an artist signature or calling card.



Piece – short for a masterpiece is used to described a much more labor-intensive, detailed image.

Lady in Bed - Piece

Lady in Bed – Piece

Mural – a little more self-explanatory,  could take up a whole wall showing one scene or interconnected characters.

Snake Mural

Snake Mural

Installation – more often is a site-specific piece of art, much more likely to involve multiple disciplines and be either 3D or sculptural.

Tryptic - Installation

Tryptic – Installation

Sticker – stickers show up everywhere and are street art’s version of the drive by because you can walk by and slap it on in seconds. Stickers can be professionally printed or made of found materials: it was quite popular for a while to get USPS labels and attach your art to the labels.

Family - Sticker

Family – Sticker

Wheatpaste – is like a much more elaborate sticker. This is one of my favorite types. The artist mixes equal parts water and flour and coats a wall with a layer of paste and then puts up a picture, drawing, etc. and smooths the whole thing out before adding a final layer of paste over the top. (Unfortunately, I didn’t find one on this trip.)

Stencil – a little extra planning goes into this one as the artist cuts an image or phrase out of cardboard or something similar. The artist has to rely on how the positive and negative space play with each other to make the picture.

Girls vs. Boys - Stencil

Girls vs. Boys – Stencil

Now that you have an idea about the different types of Street Art, I am going to show you a few of my favorites from this visit to Amsterdam. Want to see even more Street Art photos? Check out our Flickr page.

Praying Boy - Piece

Praying Boy – Piece

Think - Stencil

Think – Stencil

MLK - Stencil

MLK – Stencil

Photographer - Stencil

Photographer – Stencil

Thing - Stencil

Thing – Stencil

Farmer - Installation

Farmer – Installation

Karma - Stencil - Street Art Amsterdam

Karma – Stencil

Do you think Street Art is a nuisance, beautiful or somewhere in between?

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