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Ottograph interview YARDBIRDS

STRAAT is proud to announce YARDBIRDS v.01, a two-person exhibition at the STRAAT Gallery featuring artists Ottograph and YorkOne. This exhibition celebrates two Amsterdam-based artists that are relentlessly active mural makers, continuously adding to the living walls on the exterior of the STRAAT museum building at the famed NDSM-werf. The opening reception for YARDBIRDS v.01 is Saturday May 14th, 2022 from 5 to 9pm, and will feature refreshments and live DJ’s. The reception is open to the public and the artists will be in attendance. We spoke to Ottograph to reflect on this upcoming exhibition.


STRAAT: You started writing graffiti at a very young age. By now, you embody the phrase ‘Ipainteveryday’. Did you always want to be an artist?


Otto: No, actually I didn’t. Up until my early 20’s I dedicated myself to becoming a professional windsurfer. I was always actively involved in graffiti, but never with the idea of becoming a professional.



STRAAT: From Zeis to Ottograph, how has your style developed itself throughout your career?


Otto: My style evolved from hardcore graffiti - letters on subways - into what I currently make, through many detours. I even attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academie for a little while, painting with a really small brush - it took me a month to finish a painting [laughs].



STRAAT: This duo exhibition with YorkOne is titled Yardbirds, how do you interpret this?


Otto: Birds in the yard, you know… No, I’m kidding, I think it has to do with the fact that the subways in New York are parked in the yard, which was the peak of graffiti in the 70’s - 90’s.



STRAAT: How important is the NDSM-werf to Ottograph?


Otto: Pretty important actually. If the sun’s out, you can find me there quite often. Play a good hip hop record on my AirPods and go. No rules.



STRAAT: What else can we expect from Ottograph this year?


Otto: Expect big things! Signing off. Peace out!


The exhibition YARDBIRDS is on view through Sunday, June 19th, 2022 and is included as part of a general admission ticket to STRAAT. We obviously also spoke to YorkOne. His interview can be found here.