Shoe’s Negative Space

Opened: December 2019

Niels Shoe Meulman (1967) is a visual artist, known for his gestural paintings which reveal vivid traces of graffiti and calligraphy. He revolutionized the art of writing when he initiated the Calligraffiti movement, claiming “a word is an image and writing is painting.”

Being a graffiti pioneer from Amsterdam, Shoe tagged along with New York counterparts like Dondi White, Rammellzee and Keith Haring in the 1980s. Equally influenced by abstract expressionist painters and pop artists, he gradually found a unique way to translate street attitude to galleries and museums.

Experimenting within the traditional medium of paint-on-canvas, but also unafraid to venture into other domains like conceptual installations and poetry, Niels Shoe Meulman keeps pushing the limits of the global urban contemporary art movement.

From the gallery space of the Museum of Graffiti we present an installation called Shoe’s Negative Space. According to Shoe, this may be an attempt to exorcise negativity, both of the world and his personal life. But the diverse selection of pieces offers a reversal of perspective. By focussing on the shapes in between his painted strokes he shows us that, even when invisible, the negative space is holding the positive together.

Back to blog