Writers on Wax: The Sound of Graffiti

Graffiti has historically been interconnected with certain types of music like punk rock, techno, and Hip-Hop. Commonalities like the use of public space, themes of rebellion and angst, and the “do it yourself” mindset are threads that run through the fabric of these artforms. These congruities and the urban environment from which they originate have naturally led graffiti writers to experiment within these musical genres and vice versa.

Writers on Wax is a project created by Ruyzdael Music, a group of Dutch graffiti writers and creatives who saw the importance of compiling the music created by graffiti writers. Their vinyl-only project, Writers on Wax: The Sound of Graffiti, is a series of albums that feature exclusive tracks created by today’s leading visual graffiti artists from around the world – some who have alter-egos in the music world. All three of their vinyl music releases are on installed along with old-school turntables for your listening pleasure.

In the visual portion of the exhibition, graffiti reigns supreme. BLADE (Steven Ogburn, New York, b. 1957) via photographs by Martha Cooper, DELTA (Boris Tellegen, Amsterdam, b. 1968), NUG (Magnus Gustafsson, Sweden, b.1972), Paul Du Bois Reymond (Amsterdam, b.1974), and PURE (Aindriais Dolan, New York, b.1969) each draw on their deep roots in graffiti to present a wide range of styles from pioneering lettering, to using the spray paint medium for abstraction, to addressing the landscapes in which graffiti and their practitioners occupy, and using the ornate aspects of graffiti to create a composition.

Collectively, the pairing of the visual works with the artist’s musical creations provides a holistic snapshot of the collective urban inspiration and output of these multidisciplinary artists.  

This program is supported as part of the Dutch Culture USA program by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in New York.

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