The (Un) Caged Bird

"Let the beauty we love be what we do." – Rumi

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TRAVEL DIARY: Amsterdam Street Art

I am fascinated by street art.  Every city I go to I feel moved to record the transitory art that is painted on buildings, bridges, or drawn onto stickers stuck on mailboxes and newspaper dispensers.   I refer to this art as street art versus graffiti because I believe it adds value and beauty to whatever object it appears on.  Graffiti to me is something that is ugly and destructive and I feel it harms its canvas rather than benefiting it. I’m not a fan of people tagging their names and leaving their mark in an ugly un-creative way.  Here in Indianapolis there is one such tagger that does this all over town.  He simply spray paints his tag name in a very boring way which cheapens and destroys anything  he touches.  I won’t mention his name, but if I ever meet him I’m totally giving him a piece of my mind.  I adore murals as well, but those have been approved and commissioned and they don’t have quite the same charm.  However, I did include a lovely one of flowers painted on a house.

I love Amsterdam for many, many reasons.   One in particular is the beautiful art that has been painted onto old buildings and is under most bridges.  I love rounding a corner only to be accosted with a breathtaking image that makes me stop dead in my tracks.  I can stand and look at these images for many minutes.  I always wonder who did them, and when they created it.   There’s such a beautiful co-mingling of old and new in Amsterdam.  The charm of the old canals and cheeky crooked old buildings is only enhanced in my opinion by the counter culture that has made Amsterdam it’s home.  There’s something comforting in knowing that the people are still in charge and make the city their own.

I don’t know who any of the artists are of the paintings below.  A large portion of the photos were taken on Spuistraat.  Others, I couldn’t even tell you the street names of where I took them.  I tend to not pay attention to these things.   Feast your eyes upon these beautiful images and enjoy. I took all of these images when I was in Holland in September.