For me, one of the highlights of my trip to Amsterdam was a visit to STRAAT, the museum dedicated to graffiti and street art. STRAAT exists in an old shipyard building on the NDSM wharf on the north bank of the Amstel river a short free ferry ride from the Central Station.
Is it still street art when it’s indoors and not on the street, the STRAAT curators think it is and I agree with them, the exhibition space, laid out like an urban environment gives the artists the opportunity to create large-scale pieces, happy in the knowledge that they will remain as they intend without the threat of being spoiled by being painted over or covered by tags etc.
The current exhibition we saw was of more than 150 pieces by more than 130 artists. These pieces were created on-site and almost all are as big as outdoor walls. They also provided the added value of context and information. It was good to see works from many famous artists and to discover new artists whose works impressed me, I enjoyed seeing large-scale works by some of my favourite artists such as Dan Kitchener, Balstrom, Alice Pasquini, Guido Van Helten, Inkie, Kobra, and many others.
The area outside the building can be considered a ‘legal wall’ and there was a lot of good work on display there. All in all, this is a great way to spend a day in Amsterdam, great artwork in an unusual setting with friendly staff who are only too willing to chat about the exhibits, and the cafe was pretty good too.
I will resist the temptation to edit or crop my photographs too much and show them here as I took them, this will help to highlight the scale and layout of STRAAT, I will make the pieces and the artists and when they were created.
Size and Scale of STRAAT
The lower hall
The Upper Level
Please excuse the quality of some of these images, I wish there was access to a cherry picker that day.