IVES is an Amsterdam based street artist, who started in 1996 with Graffiti. Since 2005 he is known for his combination of freehand and stencil technique. You can see his work on the streets of several cities around the Globe like Amsterdam, Basel, Bruxelles, London, Berlin and Miami.
IVES is working together with the GO Gallery in Amsterdam, Saatchi Gallery in London, City of talents in Toulouse and Adjust Gallery in Miami to represent his artworks.
He is also a Concept Designer and does Freelance work for companies such as Grolsch, MINI, Rockstar, KPN/HI, Nike AND Xs4all and he is the founder of the Amsterdam Street Art foundation.
Hi Ives, Could you tell us who you are, what you do, and how did you get started in the urban art scene ?
I’m from Amsterdam. Im a full time artist. I started in 1996 with writing Graffiti, I always traveled a lot and I loved painting everywhere. After 2000 I started to get more involved with People who were more in to street art like The London Police, Galo and Pez. They got me inspired to change my work more in to art then my beloved vandalism. Then in 2005 I started as IVES.ONE working on stencils and characters. This involved quickly to my freehand drippy/tag style in my animal characters and which I still use but now I mainly make freehand fragmented portraits.
Do you have a formal art education?
I don’t have an art education, I have my art education from the streets and the people around me. I studied physiology, this is about the human body.
Where do you get your influences from?
I started as youngster with graffiti, this is still a big inspiration for my work. Also I read a lot about art history and try to get influenced by some the techniques and stories from the past.
What is your opinion of street art? And what is your main reason for producing street art?
A real opinion about street art I find hard, just because everyone has another thought. What’s street art and what’s not. I see people getting fame without being really on the streets. Just in their backyard or a wall in commission. In my eyes you need to be out there on the streets. Claim your spots and this can be in combination with commissions or assignments or even commercial work. But at least be street. At the moment there are kids/grownups who just think “OH WHAAUW I CAN ALSO BECOME A STREET ARTIST” The next day they make stencil put it on the backyard wall and become instant a street artists. This makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
I produce my work on the streets, because I want people to see my work in real life. I want to make them think about the painting but also just their life or that moment they just walk by the artwork. For myself it’s about claim a part of the streets and to be out there.
How much does your art affect or influence your everyday life?
It’s my life, so it’s what I get up with and go to sleep with. I’m active for almost 20 years so also a big part of my social life exists out of other artists and creative people.
Do you find that street art can provide you with opportunities?
Yes for me it brought a lot of opportunities, not only work wise, also because you meet so many new people. For me this is one of the key points of why I love the things I’m allowed to do.
What are your thoughts on the way social media is influencing the art world?
This fluctuates from time to time. I have many ideas and thoughts on this subject. As an artist it helps to be out there on the web, it gets you promotion and more jobs and assignments. But next to that it can take a lot of your time which can be used way better than sitting behind a laptop and check other people FB page or whatever. So I decided to ban Social Media as much as possible. I have someone helping me with posting and etc… but for myself, I like to have time to work on my Art and not on the beauty/popularity contest which you get pulled in by, as you’re more and more concentrated on how many likes your artwork or your funny face photo or your breakfast picture is getting.
Can street art influence issues within a country?
Yes I think it can influence issues, but as big as in a whole country mmmmmmm not sure. It can help bringing more notice or attention to a subject. But influence a country I think thats a bit too optimistic.
Do you think street art can influence society?
I guess it already did. If you see what the HOPE campaign of OBEY did for the US president Obama or that UK prime minister gives a present made by Ben EINE to Obama or that big companies use street art or street art related images in their campaign. Also most people now know about street art or at least hear of Banksy. This all shows we live in a period of time information is easy to get through internet. I guess this is for me the proof street art and graffiti has changed society and societies look on this art genre
You were recently invited by the Dutch Consulate in Mumbai to organize a street project along with Beazarility. Could tell us how did you get involved in this great project, what was your experience like, and what did you learn from it?
We got asked through our agent, he was in contact with the Dutch Consulate in Mumbai, We got asked to be part of the cultural program next to the visit of our prime minister to India. We got asked to paint a 20M by 12M wall in Dharavi, Mumbai.
I made two half portraits of two sport legends 1 from India and 1 from The Netherlands. The experience was amazing. ST. India helped us out with everything which was great. For me the most important thing was to see how people in India experience Street Art. It was great to see people being so great full your there to make their area a bit more beautiful. Of course India itself was amazing to see, it was my first time in India. Which is one of the craziest countries to be in.
What have been your most challenging and rewarding piece of work this far?
I would say the mural in India, That’s the wall all my practice and ideas came together, I worked hard to find the thing I love to make the most. Fragmented with my drips and tags. This wall made it possible to get it all together. Als because of the reactions all 4 days we worked there and also the importance I feel to show my art around the world and see different people of different backgrounds react on my artworks
What do you do when you are not creating art? What are your hobbies?
I love getting out with friends and I love to get out with my dog TAXI. He is a very active dog so we do a lot of crazy activities together
What’s next for you? What shows or projects do you have planned?
I have a couple of assignments coming up and I will be in Miami for ART BASEL and I will curate an exhibition in January for Amsterdam Street Art at the GO Gallery in Amsterdam together with my best friend and artist SJEMBAKKUS.
Where else can we find you? (blog, website, twitter, facebook, etc.)
My website is www.ivesone.com I’m also on all those other channels and they all have the same name IVES.ONE
Any words of advice for aspiring new artists?
Do what you want to do, whenever you want to do and don’t care about hateful people who just want to get you down. It’s all about getting the 100% and more out of yourself.
Ok, that will be all. Thank you Ives for your time and hope we can meet someday soon!