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When the Mural Dies

Today is a fairly sad day for the museum. Right at this moment a big gripper machine is tearing down two of our artworks at the Dirk Sonoystraat, Geuzenveld. With brute force the stones are smashing to the ground, I just witnessed myself. Of course the Street Art Museum Amsterdam knew the buildings with the artworks were getting demolished soon, but the shock that it was really happening came Monday during a street art tour with three German ladies. We found out that half of the building was already gone. And the face of Johan Cruijff has now followed.

In the winter of 2013 the local government gave permission to paint four walls in the passageways of the old apartment blocks at the Dirk Sonoystraat. And so it happened that street artists Uriginal and Btoy (aka Andrea Michelson), both from Barcelona, came over to paint the first two walls. Full of colour and joy, these painting, facing each other, brightened up their environment. Uriginal's ‘Gogh–van–Cruijff’ depicted to stylish portraits of the Dutch icons. In the first sketch of the artwork, Johan Cruijff was not included. However while painting, the artist noticed a lot of the local kids were wearing Ajax-shirts, he added Johan Cruijff to his artwork as a tribute to the neighbourhood.

During the same time, on the opposite wall, Btoy painted her first big mural. She started with horizontal face. A lovely face, if you ask me. A face that could be anybody’s, from a boy or girl, from any cultural background. Around the face are abstract pieces in different shapes and colours. Painting in the December cold, Andrea had to improvise with the background with acrylic paint, because the spray cans she originally wanted to use couldn’t cope with the cold.

But when the rainy clouds of today have passed, these two works can never be seen in real life anymore. The temporary lifetime of many of our art does mean that the works are even more valuable for the time being.

So if you have some spare time, we encourage you to take the effort to go to the street to see the other three murals (by H101, Kenor and Alaniz), as they also might be gone before you know it. Whilst witnessing the deconstruction process, keep in mind that hopefully in the future new buildings will bring new opportunities for painting street art!

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