HUGO KAAGMAN STENCIL KING
The National Railway Museum
21 March t/m 2 September 2012
Spray art artist Hugo Kaagman combines
trains and street art
Maliebaanstation, 3581 XW Utrecht, The Netherlands, opened from Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am until 5 pm. Hugo Kaagman has
sprayed three trains of the Railway with stencils and spray cans and transformed them into real works of art. The exhibition Stencil Station
'Kaagman also shows his finest works of art on canvas in which trains play a major role. Kaagman is known as the "Stencil King '. He started with
graffiti in the streets but now his works are in galleries and museums. His Delft blue stencils are famous around the world. The exhibition
'Station Stencil, spray art by Hugo Kaagman' opens on 21 March and lasts untilSeptember 2 , 2012.
The studio of Hugo Kaagman can be found on the platform of RAI Station in Amsterdam, so it is not surprising that trains are an important
source of inspiration for his art. He plays on topical issues, which he reads in the morning paper he uses in his artworks, which often can be seen
the same day on the windows of his studio. Kaagman believes that art should be accessible to everyone. Workshops will therefore show
method, visitors can get to work with stencils to make yourself spray art.
FUTURISTIC VIEW virtual museum zuidas
INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST HUGO KAAGMAN
Hugo Kaagman has been active as an artist for years. In the 1970s he left his mark on tunnels, magazines and walls with stencils
and spray paint. In the 1980s he moved from the streets to the canvas and in the 1990s he developed his own contemporary
spray paint version of traditional delftware
In 1996 he became world famous when on commissioned from British Airways he painted the tail sections of nineteen planes
in his by-now familiar delftware style. A recently completed power station in the Roombeek fireworks region in Enschede
designed by Architekten Cie. is covered from top to bottom with a print burned into aluminium by Kaagman. ‘Street art’, the
form of art in which he feels at home and which is experiencing a revival from London to New York to Amsterdam, is ‘the
intelligent little brother of graffiti’, he says.
For four years now, Kaagman has been working in a former kiosk between platforms 1 and 2 at the RAI train station in the
Zuidas. Every couple of minutes the double-decker trains arriving right next to his studio spew out hundreds of travellers.
‘I was working on a commission for Centraal Station, was looking for work space and could rent this from ProRail. The former
renter had covered up all the windows, but I really like being in the midst of the public and that people can see my work.’
Kaagman is present in his studio every day. He cuts out his stencils at home – that’s solitary work. At the RAI station, he sprays
his stencils onto canvas and paper. Since having the studio, he works in a different way. Whereas he used to mainly work on
commission, here he makes autonomous work that he exhibits in the windows. For the first time, he is also making paintings in
editions, on rollable surfaces or on tiles, so that buyers can easily carry them under the arm. Kaagman is very enthusiastic
little piece of the Zuidas, which has a view of the RAI and the telecommunications tower. ‘I like such futuristic areas on the
outskirts of the city. Unlike the centre ofAmsterdam, there is plenty of room here for new things, including art. I hope that Joop
van den Ende’s theatre goes through and that there will be breeding grounds for artists in open, idiosyncratic buildings. I’m also
an advocate of a Paleis voor Volksvlijt – a big art hall like the one in Rotterdam, but then surrounded with studios, music and
theatre shows. So that something is always going on.’ Kaagman sees lots of travellers with suitcases passing by every day.
‘Those people populate the hotels and restaurants in the area for three days because they have come to a fair at the RAI. A lot
of money gets passed around. Wouldn’t it be good to offer them culture as well for a change?’ Onlangs verscheen het
overzichtsboek Hugo Kaagman, Stencil King, bij Lebowski Publishers.
The retrospective book ‘Hugo Kaagman, Stencil King’ was recently brought out by Lebowski Publishers. www.kaagman.nl
Text: Marina de Vries Photo: Ron Zijlstra