This mural is titled “Raise the Level” and adorns the massive door of the STRAAT Museum, which currently has the similarly titled body of work on view in the gallery. I created these works as a hopeful way to focus on the need to address the health of our planet. Raise the Level also addresses other urgent issues facing humanity, such as nationalism, xenophobia, war, disinformation, and the weakening of democracy. I hope the audience viewing my art is inspired to pay attention to these issues and motivation to act. Painting a mural with this kind of message is one of the most important aspects of my practice as an artist, and I’m so grateful to have the support of the community in Amsterdam and beyond.
I frequently get asked by the press or even some street art enthusiasts about street artists’ role in gentrification, and I want to reject that correlation emphatically. Many artists make very little or no profit from public art and do it to have their art accessible to the public FREE. The tactics of landlords and developers can, of course, lead to rising rents, which is important to acknowledge, but the remedy is to vote for lawmakers who put the broader public interest before the interests of the powerful and greedy.
I hope my work seeds the idea that art can be a galvanizing and joyful form of communication and activism that shapes culture in both bold and subtle ways. Thanks for the support!
Video by The Flying Dutchmen