Inspired by the work of Swedish graffiti legend Dwane, The Forumist has joined forces with cult shoe brand BucketFeet to devise an exciting competition that aims to open up the world of street art to all the aspiring graffers among you.
One of the first street artists in Sweden, the graffiti pioneer Dwane emerged on the scene in the early 1980s out of Gothenburg, during the first European wave of graffiti artists that had been inspired by New York graffiti.
Over the years his work has developed a more conceptual and problematisational approach. He is known for mixing images and symbols, questioning their content and challenging the viewer’s perception, as with the portrait of Charles Manson, now with a YSL logo on his forehead instead of the original swastika. Or when he established The Hades Rowing Club, which is an interest organisation promoting the idea of a non-capitalist afterlife. Membership to this club is free and for eternity, and simply gained through embracing the idea that death, or what might possibly lie behind it, is free of any monetary systems.
Dwane’s latest project, “Writing my name until it matters” – to design a concept for how graffiti can enter the art and gallery environment – involved painting his name in layers over and over again over the course of three years. The goal was to extract the essence of graffiti. The result is an abstract mass, leaving no name to read and no typographic code to decipher – almost a process of “anti graffiti”, utilising the most essential means of creating an identity while destroying it at the same time.
The project was documented in the book “Writing my name until it matters”, which is available from several online bookshops. The works were exhibited in 2012 at Skalitzers Contemporary Art in Berlin, in 2014 at Det Nya Muséet in Stockholm, and in 2015 at Make Your Mark Gallery in Helsinki. In 2015 they will be in Tokyo, and in 2016 Dwane is planning to finally exhibit the “Writing my name until it matters” series in New York, bringing his contemporary vision of graffiti back to its original hometown and taking Dwane’s career as a graffiti artist of more than thirty years full circle.
Hugely inspired by Dwane’s work and with legal graffiti being allowed on a selection of walls in Stockholm this summer, we thought now would be a good time to shine a spotlight on the genre. Enter Stockholm Street Art Project (STHLMSAP), a collaboration with the art-driven shoe brand BucketFeet, which has strong roots in street-art culture and whose mission is to connect people through art – its BucketFeet Artist Network has been involved with more than 4,000 artists in over 60 countries. STHLMSAP’s aim is to help emerging artists create and engage with street art, and the project comprises a competition and inspirational workshop that will support and push these artists, giving them the tools to find their own direction, as well as the opportunity to make contacts.
Working with Fryshuset – a not-for-profit youth-orientated body that runs up to 50 different programmes throughout Sweden, covering education, culture, entertainment and key social issues – The Forumist is inviting readers to submit their work for the competition.
The judges have been chosen by So Fame, a graffiti organisation that is bringing together Sweden’s best street artists to exhibit their work at Snösätragränd in Rågsved.
Representing the vanguard of graffiti art in this country, these judges are Gore Fx & Loads crew, Bless Loads crew, Yash, Huge, Fotograf Strangefruit, Soe wsb crew, Bayne wsb crew, Zappo and Puppet.
Visuals by DWANE.
Special thanks to BUCKETFEET.