TUFF CITY / Niels Shoe Meulman

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title: TUFF CITY
artist: Niels Shoe Meulman
year: 2019
medium: sumi ink and acrylic on Japanese Okawara 100% cotton paper
size: ± 20 x 25 inch / ± 50 X 64 cm

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Done during the Bed-Stuy Art Residency in Brooklyn, New York.

A slight reference here to the whole car painted by Phase2 and Skeme in the Eighties. Of course the city has changed a lot since then –and the vegan types here are worse than in Los Angeles– but walking around New Yorks’ lesser gentrified parts, it’s apparent that life here still breeds tough characters. 
The delicate brush strokes in this piece create a contrast that is funny to me. - Shoe

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Niels Shoe Meulman (1967) is a visual artist, known for his gestural paintings which reveal vivid traces of graffiti and calligraphy. He revolutionized the art of writing when he initiated the Calligraffiti movement, claiming ‘a word is an image and writing is painting’.

Being a graffiti pioneer from Amsterdam, Shoe tagged along with New York counterparts like Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Equally influenced by abstract expressionist painters and pop artists, he gradually found a unique way to translate street attitude to galleries and museums.

Experimenting within the traditional medium of paint-on-canvas, but also unafraid to venture into other domains like conceptual installations and poetry, Niels Shoe Meulman keeps pushing the limits of the global urban contemporary art scene.