Shaking Hands with a Legend….

It’s not often you get to shake hands with a legend. That’s the thing about legends: by definition, they tend not to hang out with us mortals. So imagine the thrill of being introduced to an honest-to-god legend of graffiti: Doze Green.

Doze, as many of you will know, is one of the original members of the Rock Steady Crew. He started putting up on the walls and trains of New York City in 1974; in the mid-80s his work was being exhibited in galleries such as Fun and Tony Shafrazi. And he is still working: check out his website HERE to see some of his recent activities.

Doze was in Amsterdam in June, collaborating with Fefe Talavera for an exhibition at K-Space Gallery. Fefe is a 26 year old Sao Paulo artist, who also has credits to her name of opening for Missy Elliott on tour. Her artworks often feature monsters and fabulous, vaguely terrifying creatures, like THESE. For the K-Space show, each artist produced some solo works, and collaborated on a huge piece, which blended Fefe’s monsters with Doze’s characters using a palette of rich, lush colour:

Check out some of the detail in this work:

The K-Space site contains many great shots of the artists working on this piece together. The exhibition opened with a big party, with both Fefe and Doze present. I had been standing around quietly taking photos, when one girl asked who I was and why I was taking pictures (she thought I must be a journalist). I explained about my research, and she asked if I would like to meet Doze and Fefe. Like to!!??!

And so I was introduced to them – one of street art’s new stars, and one of hip hop’s pioneering legends. And here they are together:

Also present at the party was Orlando Reyes, someone else with an illustrious hip hop career, and now running the 58 Gallery in New Jersey. While we were chatting, standing in the small area outside the gallery, Orlando’s attention suddenly was distracted by something happening inside the gallery. ‘Excuse me’, he said, ‘I have to go tag’.

And he rushed inside to join Doze, who was tagging the sound equipment set up for the opening. Here they are, hard at work:

As you can see, a fun time was had by all…  And if you are in Amsterdam, apparently Doze and Fefe did some works under some of the canal bridges too. What better reason to rent a pedal boat and head up and down the canals than to search for the work of a legend?

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