In the summer of 2022, my wife Irina and I spent a week in Amsterdam. When I was researching “things to do in Amsterdam”, I came across a Street Art and Alternative Amsterdam Tour at NDSM. I had no idea what to expect, but the tour looked really interesting, and I ended up booking it.
The tour took place at the Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) wharf, a short ferry ride from Amsterdam’s central station. The tour focused on Amsterdam’s history of street art, including graffiti, tagging, and murals; the tour guide also told us incredible details of Amsterdam’s history, different art movements, and the political history of the Netherlands. To make a long story short, it was one of the best tours I’ve ever experienced.
We spent almost five hours at the NDSM wharf and I took over 200 photos of the street art and the old wharf structures. The tour sparked something in me. I’d never been interested in graffiti or street art before, but after this tour, I began noticing street art everywhere. I started reading about street artists such as Banksy, Vhils, Tavar Zawacki, Roa, and many others. I also became hyperaware of how temporary and transient street art is, and how many works get erased during construction, renovations, etc.
I began to photograph every piece of street art I’d noticed. I started to deliberately go out on walks with my camera, scouring different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, Norfolk, Boston, Washington DC, and any other city that I visited, looking for street art to photograph. I’m not culling or curating this work in any shape or form – the photographs are straight out of my camera, with no modifications. This body of work is becoming pretty large, and there is no easy way for me to select what to share and what not to share. So I decided to share everything, and as I continue to travel and document street art, I will continue to add to this archive.