It was finally time to find out what the giant canvas that had been looming side of stage was there for. Niels Shoe Meulman is pioneer of the street art movement. In his teens Shoe could be seen all over the walls of Amsterdam and every where else his spray can took him. He went on to develop his skills, studying under the renowned Dutch graphic designer Anthon Beeke.
Next on the list was the world of Advertising where he started a couple of agencies (Caulfield & Tensing / Unruly) and did a stint at MTV as CD of all its brands. He realised a world of endless meetings wasn’t for him (anyone relate to that?) and instead began to develop his unique style; a fusion of calligraphy and graffiti he dubbed Calligraffiti.
Since his first solo exhibition in Amsterdam in 2007 Shoe has been creating his art around the globe with partner Adele Renault. He showed us a video of a stunning street intervention he had made on his travels to a country where spray painting could lead to lashes. His solution, use a broom and water instead.
Now it was time for the main event, Shoe vs. canvas – live. Keeping on an interactive tip we played the #namegame, asking people to tweet names which Shoe would then paint onto the canvas with a variety of brushes. It was a real privilege to watch this man work, a medley of precise skill and technique mixed with splashes of emotion and stylistic impulse. My only disappointment was that he didn’t get the paint bombs out, but that could have been dangerous in LSO.
After the talk we let the paint dry as Shoe signed copies of his new book, available here.
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