Taking place on The King's Day in the Netherlands, which marks the birth of King Willem-Alexander, Kings Spray is graffiti culture event which brings together, national, local and international street artists and graffiti writers to Amsterdam. Returning for its fourth edition, Kings Spray 2019 will take place at the NDSM-shipyard on the northern banks of the IJ-river, right in front of the soon-to-be-open international street art and graffiti museum.
This year, the event will welcome 20 artists, headlined by the NYC graffiti legend, Blade. Artists will be painting live on container-installations scattered around the NDSM Wharf, each focusing on a specific theme.
Kings Spray 2019 will welcome artists Blade, Soy, DOM1, Mick La Rock, Jake One and Loveletters Crew, all working in graffiti, ZEDZ, Graphic Surgery and United Painting, all working in an abstract style, and Malakkai, Karski & Beyond, Balstroem, Dan Kitchener, Cix Mugre and Pipsqueak Was Here!!!, each known for their visual storytelling.
Also known as The King of Graffiti, Blade earned his title while painting 5000 cars illegally as a teenager in the New York of the seventies. He will be painting the container-installation dedicated to New York graffiti alongside his long-time friends, SOY and DOM1. Right next to them, Malakkai and Karski & Beyond will combine their unique styles to paint a tribute the Spanish artist Treze, who sadly passed away last year.
ZEDZ will combine his abstract typography with Graphic Surgery's abstract style characterized by the collision of analog and digital technology. A master of visual storytelling, Rasmus Balstrøm will paint a mural telling a story of the pirates of the Aruban, referencing this year's collaboration with Aruba. This theme will also be a subject of a mural painted by six members of the Love Letters crew - Chas, Nash, Puak, Nilko, Dater and Reser.
Mick La Rock, an international visual artist also known for curating many exhibitions and projects related to street art and graffiti, will paint next to Amsterdam’s graffiti artist Jake One. The fourth container will be painted by Cix Mugre and Pipsqueak Was Here!!!, who will join their vibrant color palettes. In the middle of these installations, the socially active artist collective United Painting will realize a large-scale, flay-lay artwork which tackles the issue of refugees.
In addition to amazing art, the visitors of Kings Spray 209 will enjoy music, food, workshops for aspiring graffiti writers, educational tours and an interactive photo contest.
The novelty at this year's festival is the Aruban Art Square, where artists the Aruban artist Garrick Marchena and the Caribbean artist Robert Solognier will paint a large-scale piece inspired by the ancient Aruban cave paintings and local fauna.
Live painting will go on from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., while the music program will take place between 12 and 4 p.m., with acts by DJ Djarzino and Old Boys on Vinyl. The visitors will have an opportunity to take two educations tours, which will walk them through the artworks as they are being created. Children can relish their creativity both through a graffiti workshop and a cave painting workshop led by Garrick Marchena and Robert Solognier, taking place between 12 and 5 p.m.
Kings Spray 2019 will take place at the NDSM shipyard in Amsterdam on April 27th, 2019. While the artworks were visible during the festival only in previous editions, this year they will be outside much longer. In collaboration with IJ-hallen and the NDSM foundation, this will be the first step in the realization of an urban arts square.
If you're in Amsterdam, be sure to take part in this full day of fun!
Featured images: Kings Spray Festival 2018. Photo by Marco Buddingh; United Painting at Kings Spray 2018. All images courtesy of Kings Spray.