Street Art in Amsterdam
Interior design projects take you to some interesting places, but my recent trip to Amsterdam was very much a personal affair. Celebrating a big birthday and wanting to be surrounded by design, there was no better place to go. Amsterdam has long been a cultural and artistic hotspot with some of the great names settling and creating some of their most renowned pieces here (Van Gogh being the most notable). But it’s the city’s photography, contemporary and street art scenes that have been wowing in recent years. After hearing great things about the urban art scene there, my first stop was the Jordaan neighbourhood. I found the charming streets and flower lined canals of Jordaan a welcome escape from the sex shops and high street chains found around the infamous red light district. The chic boutiques, cafes, restaurants and artists’ studios for me offered a peaceful view of the Dutch way of life. The architecture was also beautiful and showed a history of a growing city.
Hip, cool and vibrant are just three words to describe Jordaan, but great restaurants and quaint shops aside, one area that Jordaan wasn’t lacking on was stunning design. It was everywhere, inside and out, in its boutiques and galleries, but more notably on its streets. Street art tours are becoming increasingly popular in Amsterdam, and you can see why - all the photos that accompany this post were taken on the same street! (Derde Marnixdwarsstraat). I had no special agenda during my celebratory visit to Amsterdam and came across this side road by pure luck. The art on this street is ever-evolving, so who know what it will look like next year? My favourite pieces were by the street artist Oase.
Even outside Jordaan, urban art is everywhere. You can take in some pretty cool street art at Wijdesteeg & Spuistraat, not forgetting to indulge in a Space Invaders mosaic hunt throughout the city. GO Gallery (Prinsengracht 64) is also a must visit for lovers of all things contemporary with street art taking pride of place alongside their free to use studio. Maybe you’ll see some pieces being created there and then! During my stay I also spotted De Blauwe Vioolspeler AKA ‘the blue violin player’, you’ll find him at Tweede Marnixplantsoen. It’s not the statue itself that’s the showstopper, it’s the story. You see, no one knows who created it, it just appeared there one day. NDSM Werf, Entrepotdok and Zuiderzeeweg Amsterdam Oost are other hotspots for street art.
From the elaborate to the tiny, strolling Amsterdam’s streets will always reveal some urban gems, whilst the contemporary art scene found in galleries up and down the city showcases the up and coming talent that will be shaping the future. I really enjoyed my visit to this colourful city and came away brimming with design inspiration.